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East-West Ensemble

Elias Bachoura and Wouter Vandenabeele
© Marc Gysens

Wouter Vandenabeele and Elias Bachoura are starting up a new student ensemble. The two are musical friends and partners that have travelled together along the same musical highways. They currently work together in Olla Vogala and Ghent Folk Violin Project (GFVP). Wouter is a distinguished player of European folk music and Elias is a master of the traditional oriental folk music but they were both prepared to take a look over the wall and become musical companions.

Playing oriental music, Wouter learned a lot about his own – western - folk music and Elias’ experience was the mirror image of this. Together they discovered that western and eastern traditional music have a lot in common and are actually part of a larger shared repertoire.

The ensemble

Wouter and Elias teach the playing of western and eastern music and everything in between. The aim is to produce a kind of chamber music sans frontières (with no borders).

The ensemble is primarily intended for players of oud, violin, light percussion, flute, accordion. If you play another instrument and you would like to join anyway, please contact us.

The tutors

Elias Bachoura is a student of the legendary Iraqi oud player Munir Bashir. He studied the instrument at the Conservatory of Damascus in his native Syria, after which he went to study Western composition in Brussels with Professor Daniel Capelletti. He performs with Olla Vogala and also works with the Pandora Ensemble, which presents medieval music. His knowledge of the two musical traditions, Eastern and Western, make him a particularly critical and attentive musician who combines intelligence and feeling.

Wouter Vandenabeele is an internationally renowned violinist, arranger and composer. He has performed in concerts alongside Senegalese Peulh violinist Issa Sow, led the prestigious Hadzidakis project for the Athens Olympics in 2004, worked on some 20 CDs, played hundreds of gigs with Ambrozijn and his world orchestra Olla Vogala and was behind the Moroccan-Flemish project Brared Atai with concerts in both Morocco and here. In Zuiderwind (EMI) he worked with South African musicians and played in many concerts in Belgium and South Africa (including in Soweto).

He is also a valued teacher : artistic director at the international youth music camp Flanders Ethno and lecturer at the AKDT, jeunesse musicale in Cyprus, on the folk and jazz stages of Muziekmozaïek or as conductor of the ensemble class at the annual summer folk music internship in Gooik. Since September 2005 he has taught folk violin at the Sint-Niklaas academy and he is the conductor of the youth orchestra Transpiradansa.


Weekly, on Wednesdays, from 19:30 to 21:00.

Come along to a free trial lesson on Wednesday 20 September 2017 (19:30-21:00) to meet the tutors and check out whether this ensemble is definitely for you.


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