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News

15-09-2020:

Fall 2020: Balsam and two premieres


We are all in need of cultural activities after the past months. It's something we noticed from the many moved reactions after playing Balsam at the Zomer van Antwerpen in July. The press has repeatedly called the performance "a balm for the soul." This autumn we bring you extra oxygen for the soul with the reprise of Balsam in Rotterdam and Heerlen.

On October 14, Zefiro Torna and the contemporary French Ensemble Variances will unite music from the 14th to the 21st centuries during the premiere of BACHC®AB in deSingel. And a month later we'll launch you 'im glückliche Fahrt' into a new time and space with the long-awaited premiere of PAST | ORALE: BTHVN transhumanized during the Lunalia festival. Looking forward to this special reunion!

16-06-2020:

Zefiro strikes back


The word is out! After a few exciting weeks we can announce that BALSAM, the mysterious laboratory with Laika, will be premiered at Zomer van Antwerpen. We'll play 36 times between 1 and 26 July, but as tickets are limited, be sure to buy your tickets on time.

In August we will be back on stage with SLUIMER - together with Lore Binon and Benjamin Glorieux - during the Music Mondays in Ninove and the Bijloke Zomerbar.

We'll kick off this special summer on 21 June with Klara on Tour. Follow our performance with soprano Annelies Van Gramberen at 2 pm, broadcasted live from Amuz via Klara.

23-03-2020:

Zefiro Torna's antidote


Like many other artists and ensembles, Zefiro Torna had to cancel upcoming concerts due to the corona crisis. It's a pity, but the health of everyone around us comes first.

In the meantime, we continue to work on future projects from our attic, living room or improvised office. Every week, we'll provide a musical antidote, starting with this playlist on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3bl07iS

Stay healthy and creative!

13-01-2020:

A lab of senses

In January 2020, Zefiro Torna will reshape the production of Balsam into a music theater performance that stimulates all the senses. To this end, the ensemble works together with theater company Laika - Theater der Zinnen. Balsam becomes a visual and physically stimulating laboratory in which the live music merges with surprising scents and flavors. While the music is simmering and enchanting, the spectators witness all kinds of experiments and chemical processes: oil solidifies dropwise into edible pearls, milk becomes electric, charcoal a sweet treat. Balms, powders, drinks and amuse gueules in all scents, colors and flavors are presented and shared by the performers with those sitting next to you, premiered on January 31, 2020 in Le Channel (Calais, FR) and then on tour in France, The Netherlands and Belgium.

06-12-2019:

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BACHC®AB

— a new Musikalisches Opfer (2020)

Zefiro Torna - Ensemble Variances - AMVK

The BACHC®AB programme comes in the shape of a retrograde. Throughout history, chanting backwards has been a returning particularity, which, despite stylistic and compositional evolutions, has survived from the Middle Ages until now. Guillaume de Machaut’s rondo Ma fin est mon commencement, which can be seen as a compact contemplation of time and eternity, shifts into the finesse of the counterpoint in Renaissance and Baroque music. It culminates in the Musikalisches Opfer and Kunst der Fuge by J.S. Bach. But also contemporary techniques seem to have retrograde techniques as a source of inspiration.

Underneath a purely technical charm seems to lie hidden a symbolic purpose. Maybe it is an attempt to control the relentlessly ongoing concept of time? Is it the expression of a negative world view : a waning society in full regression? Or could it be a magical intervention : is it actually possible to rewind an event and undo it by chanting backwards? Or can we, this way, connect the end with the beginning, the alpha with the omega?

Zefiro Torna, contemporary Ensemble Variances (FR) and visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven join forces in an exceptional performance around J.S. Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer and a number of musical puzzles. Emblematic scores in the shape of a lobster carrying the world on its back (Cancer Cancrizans), circular compositions that depict the circle of life or compositions related to the symbol of the labyrinth and self-sacrifice, from the Middle Ages to the present, form the common thread. A video artwork by visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven reinforces the ritualistic character of the eternal struggle between good and evil and of this existential human quest.

Zefiro Torna

  • Annelies Van Gramberen soprano
  • Liam Fennelly viola da gamba
  • Kristien Ceuppens oboe, cor anglais
  • Dimos De Beun recorder, clavicymbalum
  • Jurgen De bruyn mandolin, lute, theorbo


Jurgen De bruyn concept, artistic direction
Dr. Prof. Katelijne Schiltz musicological research
Anne-mie Van Kerckhoven visual art

Ensemble Variances (FR)

  • Carjez Gerretsen (bass) clarinet
  • Thierry Pécou piano
  • Elisa Humanes, David Joignaux, Arnaud Lassus percussion