Flanders Symphony Orchestra

20-24 June 2024

Conductor: Kristiina Poska
Soloists: Yena Choi(soprano), Theresa Kronthaler(mezzo-soprano), Denzil Delaere(tenor), Christian Immler (baritone)
Choir: Sheffield Philharmonic Choir


The Flanders Symphony Orchestra (FSO) has been a fixed value in the Flemish cultural landscape for sixty years. Composed of sixty highly committed and passionate musicians, and led by renowned conductors, The Flanders Symphony Orchestra both commissions and performs new compositions of contemporary music as well as electrifying renditions of the main symphonic repertoire from the classical period onwards.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra fulfills an exemplary role in creating opportunities for young and talented musicians, composers, soloists and conductors. In addition, the Orchestra makes music from both past and present accessible to as wide and diverse an audience as possible in Flanders and beyond.

The orchestra was founded in 1960 by Dirk Varendonck, also the orchestra’s first conductor. From 1986 onwards the orchestra was conducted by Patrick Peire, Robert Groslot and Fabrice Bollon. The orchestra went through a thorough reformation in the mid-1990s. Principal conductors have included David Angus, Etienne Siebens, Seikyo Kim and Jan Latham-Koenig. As from the concert season 2019-20, the Estionan Kristiina Poska is the new chief conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to the concert series in Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra is a welcome guest at both national and international venues.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Kristiina Poska, conductor

The award-winning conductor Kristiina Poska is in high demand on the international music scene. She has held the post of Chief Conductor of Flanders Symphony Orchestra since 2019/20 season and Principal Guest Conductor of Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since 2021/22. She studied choral conducting at Estonian Academy of Music and Theater in Tallinn, and orchestral conducting at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin. Poska was a finalist at the renowned Donatella Flick LSO Competition in 2010 and at Malko Competition in May 2012 where she also won the audience prize. She then went on to win the prestigious German Conductors’ Prize in April 2013.

This season’s highlights include several debuts – Oregon Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra in the United States, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the United Kingdom, and Rotterdam PhilharmonicOrquesta Nacionales de España, Frankfurt Museumsorchester as well as NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. During the concert season, she will return to WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Orchestre National de France, Hallé Orchestra and Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Poska tours with Flanders Symphony Orchestra several times during the season performing in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.

Past highlights include debuts with BBC Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Orchestre National de Lille, Aalborg Symfoniorkester, and returns to Oslo Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and MDR Sinfonieorchester. Additionally, Poska has worked with orchestras such as hr-Sinfonieorchester, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Gothenburg, Tokyo and Estonian National symphony orchestras, Münchner Philharmoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Camerata Salzburg, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich to name a few.

Equally prolific in the operatic repertoire — this season Poska returns to Staatsoper Berlin to conduct a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Recent opera productions include Così fan tutte at Royal Danish Theatre, Puccini’s La bohème by Robert Carsen at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Carmen with Staatsoper Stuttgart, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Semperoper). She has appeared with Komische Oper Berlin, Royal Swedish Opera, Norwegian Opera, Semperoper Dresden, English National Opera, Finnish National Opera, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Staatsoper Stuttgart and Volksoper Vienna among others.

Poska’s previous roles have included Principal Conductor of Cappella Academica from 2006 to 2011, Kapellmeister at Komische Oper Berlin from 2012 to 2016, and Music Director for Theater Basel for the 2019/20 season. Poska’s latest recording of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos.1 and 7 released on Fuga Libera/​Outhere is the fruit of her successful collaboration with Flanders Symphony Orchestra.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Yena Choi, soprano

Yena Choi (soprano) started with singing in her homeland South Korea at Incheon Arts High School (teacher Myung-Sung Han). She received a Bachelor’s degree in classical singing in 2018 at Seoul National University College of Music (teachers You-Jeong Jin, Hyeon-soo Suk, Yoon-Jeong Choi) and a Master’s degree in 2020 at Estonian Academy of Music and Theater under the guidance of Nadia Kurem.

Yena has performed opera roles, including Gerardino (Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’) at Goyang Aramnuri Art Center, Knaben (Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’) at Seoul National University etc. In cooperation with the conductor Tõnu Kaljuste and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra Yena has sung soloist part in Saint-Saëns’ ‘Oratorio de Noël’, Mozart’s Requiem etc. Before coming to Estonia she has also been a soloist of Incheon Full Gospel Church, vocal coach of Incheon Seo-gu Boys and Girls Choir and soloist of Seoul Seosomun Church.

She has also worked as an accompanist for Gabriel Children’s Choir in South Korea, as a concert master for the Mozart’s opera ‘Cosi fan tutte’, as an accompanist for three years at the Apostles Church, and learned piano under the guidance of Mihkel Poll at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Since 2021 Yena is a soprano member of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Theresa Kronthaler , mezzo-soprano

Theresa Kronthaler was born in Germany and grew up in Rome. She first studied theatre and drama studies in London before enrolling at the prestigious Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, where she completed her studies with Prof. Renate Faltin and Prof. Julia Varady. She took part in various master classes with Christa Ludwig, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Thomas Quasthoff.

After her early debut as Prince Orlofsky at the Grand Théâtre de Genève she soon joined the ensemble of Dusseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein, where she could be heard in several roles including Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Annio (La clemenza di Tito) and Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel). In addition, she sang Sesto (Giulio Cesare in Egitto) in Frankfurt and gave her house debut with the Theater an der Wien as Isoletta in Bellini’s La Straniera opposite Edita Gruberová and Marlis Petersen.

During the years from 2012 until 2016 Theresa was part of the ensemble of Berlin’s Komische Oper, taking part in a wide range of productions including L’Orfeo, Giulio Cesare, Xerxes, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito, La belle Héléne, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Hänsel und Gretel. She is a regular guest at Theater Bremen which has so far invited her to perform the title role of Bizet’s Carmen, Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Marguerite in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust. As Ophelia, she gained international attention in the world premiere of Anno Schreier’s Hamlet at Theater an der Wien under the baton of Michael Boder.

Theresa Kronthaler returned to Theater an der Wien also during the season 2018/2019, starring as Eglantine in Weber’s seldom-performed Euryanthe, and was further invited to perform Die Dame in Hindemith’s Cardillac at Antwerp’s Vlaamse Opera. Particularly noteworthy is her house and role debut as actress Clairon in Strauss’ Capriccio in the frame of a new production at Madrid’s Teatro Real, directed by Christoph Loy and conducted by Asher Fisch. One of her last appearances before the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent pandemic-related cancellations was the world premiere of Christian Jost’s Egmont at Theater an der Wien, whereas Bellini’s Norma at Theater an der Wien and two productions of Franz Lehár’s Die lustige Witwein Turin and Amsterdam have so far been cancelled until further notice. For the same reason, also her debut with the Danish National Symphony Orchester with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Fabio Luisi could not be held as originally planned.

During the current season, Theresa will give her house and role debut with Verdi’s Fenena (Nabucco) in Oviedo, followed by a new production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Opera Malmö.

In concert, Theresa Kronthaler has so far undertaken several concert tours to Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, the UK, Egypt and Ukraine, further appearing in a variety of stages and venues worldwide including the Wiener Musikverein, the Berliner Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Society and the Tonhalle Dusseldorf.

She appeared as soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at the Dresden Music Festival and gave her debut at the Wiener Musikverein in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under the baton of Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The Bruckner Orchester Linz invited her to take part in an extensive tour to the UK featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 under Markus Poschner, with whom she also appeared in Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. In the frame of the Opening Concert of Vienna’s Kultursommer, she finally appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop.

Active also as a Lied singer, she recently gave her debut at the Klangraum Festival in Waidhofen an der Ybbs (Austria) with Arnold Schoenberg’s song-cycle Das Buch der hängenden Gärten accompanied by Daniel Heide.

Recent concert highlights comprise Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the European Youth Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko at the Grafenegg Festival, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Bolzano Festival Bozen, as well as with Jérémy Rhorer and his ensemble Le Cercle de l’Harmonie at the French La Chaise-Dieu festival. In addition, Theresa appeared as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Berliner Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. Theresa Kronthaler will furthermore appear as soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi.

Theresa’s debut album entitled The Living Loving Maid – a modern reinterpretation of famous Baroque arias adapted by members of her Kronthaler Trio – has been released with Sony Classical.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Denzil Delaere , tenor

At the age of six, Denzil Delaere (1988° Belgium) joined the public music academy of Deinze to study piano and saxophone with Daan vandewalle and Stefaan Cornelis. At 14 he entered the School of Art of Ghent where he was taught piano as well as the art of singing  (by Philippe Wesemael and Sabine Haenebalcke).  He graduated with highest honors in 2008 and was subsequently admitted at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent where he completed his vocal education with Marcos Pujol and Gidon Saks. He graduated from the Conservatory with Master degree in 2013.

Currently he’s a member of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth that offers a Opera training study program. In the past he was a member of the Opera Studio Flanders under Guy Joosten within this framework Denzil Delaere sang Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the renowned Summer Opera Festival of Alden-Biesen, 2014 and was engaged as cover for the role at La Monnaie. During the current season he will participate amongst others in Massenet’s obscure opera “Chérubin” for Opéra National de Montpellier and Sam Vloeman’s newly composed opera Babel in a coproduction for Flemish opera and Theatre Company Paleis.

During his education he followed masterclasses with Robert Alderson, Jennifer Hamilton, Michael Spyres, Misha Didyk, Gabriele Micheli and Ubaldo Fabbri and particiapted in Castor et Pollux at the Yorke Trust – International Opera Course. He was awarded with the Ghent Conservatory’s Soloists’s Prize, which included opportunities to sing with the House Symphony Orchestra.

His repertoire includes roles such as Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Mitridate (Midridate, Re di Ponto), Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte), L’incredibile/L’Abate (Andrea Chénier), Capitaine Ricardo Ricardo (Chérubin), Percy (Anna Bolena) under the baton of conductors such as Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Dmitri Jurowski, Andrew Greenwood, Dirk Brossé, Florian Heyerick,  and many others.

Having developed a great affinity with concert and oratorio repertoires, he founded “La Chapelle Sauvage”, enabling him to train and perform main works as Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium, Magnificat, Kaffeekantate, Missa Brevis in A major, Motets etc… He participated amongst others in the Matthew Passion with the “European Inter Voices Choir”, sang the tenor solo in Haydn’s Creation with Apotheosis (under Korneel Bernolet) at Concertgebouw Brugge.

Equally at home in the “Lied” repertoire he has performed numerous recitals with selected songs by Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven, Fauré, Poulenc, Rachmaninov.

Whilst he was trained at Royal Conservatory of Ghent Denzil Delaere has developed a strong  connection to contemporary music. Besides his participation in the world première of Acubens, he has performed major works by Olivier Messiaen, Alban Berg, Wolfgang Rihm, Wim Hendrickx and John Cage and took part in the contemporary opera L’Algerino in Italia a parody on Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri by Joris Blanckaert.

Meanwhile Denzil Delaere has appeared throughout the Benelux and at Festival di Musica in Colombia, where he will make his comeback in 2015.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster

Christian Immler, baritone

With a voice of “warm, noble timbre and great flexibility” (Forum Opéra), German bass-baritone Christian Immler is a multifaceted artist whose career ranges widely across the worlds of lieder, oratorio and opera, “a technically, musically and stylistically consummate interpreter, with exemplary diction and emotional urgency coupled with a deep intellectual textual understanding” (Klassik Heute). He studied with Rudolf Piernay in London and won the International Nadia et Lili Boulanger Competition in Paris.

His operatic experience ranges from Monteverdi’s Seneca, Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, the Commendatore and Masetto in Don Giovanni, Speaker in Die Zauberflöte, Don Fernando and Rocco in Beethoven’s Leonore, the Hermit in Weber’s Der Freischütz, the Musiklehrer in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos to Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. In concert, he has performed Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the Minnesota and Cincinnati Orchestra, Kindertotenlieder with Hungarian National Philharmonic, Mendelsohn’s Elias with the OAE, Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony with Orchestre National de France, Detlev Glanert’s Prager Symphonie with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic and Leipzig Gewandhaus, Missa solemnis with the Montreal Symphony as well as the Requiems of Dvorak, Brahms, Mozart, Fauré and Verdi. Naturally, he loves coming back to key works by Bach and Handel. Christian has worked with such conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Herbert Blomstedt, René Jacobs, Semyon Bychkov, Marc Minkowski, Masaaki and Masato Suzuki, Raphaël Pichon, Ivor Bolton, Christophe Rousset, Daniel Harding, Kent Nagano, Leonardo Alarcón, Laurence Equilbey, James Conlon, Philippe Herreweghe and William Christie.

A keen recitalist, Christian has been invited by Wigmore Hall in London, the Frick Collection in New York, the Paris Philharmonie and the Salzburg Mozarteum with pianists including Helmut Deutsch, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Andreas Frese. His more than 60 recordings have been awarded prizes such as a 2016 Grammy Nomination, a Diamant d’Opéra, several Diapason d’Or, the Echo and Opus Klassik, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Gramophone Award, and France Musiques’ Enregistrement de l’année. Christian loves teaching and is much in demand for worldwide masterclasses.

Apollo 13 in Concert poster



+44 (0) 20 7957 5873


+44 (0) 20 7957 5800


+44 (0) 7733 113652