From its home port of Bruges, string orchestra BRYGGEN boldly sets course for the North, along the routes of the Hanseatic League, all the way to Scandinavia and the Baltic. In search of new sounds and connections with cultures all around the world. With unified forces, now moving against the current, then harmoniously bathing in the tranquillity of immeasurably deep fjords.

BRYGGEN is a creative and dynamic string orchestra for whom innovation is key, whether in terms of repertoire or performance. Every BRYGGEN concert is an experience, both for the audience and the performers. Founded by artistic director Jolente De Maeyer, the ensemble explores the soundscape of Scandinavia and the Baltic, complemented with keyworks from 20th– and 21st-century postmodern music.

BRYGGEN strongly believes in the power of the string orchestra and in the added value that playing music in a smaller group offers in terms of sound, interaction, communication and focus. The ensemble works without a conductor and makes every effort to bring contemporary music to the heart of the audience not only through their ears but also through their eyes. The symbiosis between text, music, image and performance is therefore in the DNA of the projects that BRYGGEN carefully develops alongside narrators, actors, writers, directors, choreographers, dancers, choir, performance artists and more. For BRYGGEN, the future is very diverse.


As a Bruges-based orchestra, BRYGGEN played its inaugural concert in 2020 at Concertgebouw Brugge. During the 2021-22 season, after the premiere at De Singel in Antwerp, the orchestra toured Flanders with the music theatre production Zwanen (Swans) and played at WE Festival in Ostend, Iedereen Klassiek in Bruges and Walden Festival in Brussels. At De Singel, BRYGGEN presented the Belgian premiere of Wu Tsang’s Moby Dick, a collaboration with Zürich Schauspielhaus and De Singel. The orchestra also made its debut in the Netherlands with Moby Dick, at Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ during the Holland Festival.

During the 2022-23 season, BRYGGEN reprised Zwanen with eighteen performances across Flanders. The orchestra also performed at Concertgebouw Brugge, Iedereen Klassiek, Musica Divina, Antwerp Spring Festival and at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo. For Mooov Film Festival, BRYGGEN performed Max Richter’s score for Ari Folman’s animated documentary Waltz with Bashir live at De Singel, De Warande Turnhout and Stadsschouwburg Brugge.

For the 2023-24 season, concerts are scheduled at festivals Musica Divina, B-Classic (Limburg) and Wilde Westen Kortrijk. BRYGGEN will also perform at De Spil (Roeselare) and De Bijloke (Ghent) and will give a series of concerts with cellist Pieter Wispelwey at Concertgebouw Brugge, Grimbergen Abbey and CC Hasselt.

In spring 2024, BRYGGEN will perform both Max Richter’s The New Four Seasons: Vivaldi Recomposed in a choreography by Michiel Vandevelde at Concertgebouw Brugge and, in collaboration with Zonzo Compagnie, the multimedia music theatre performance Songs with Roots. This will be followed by Minerals at De Singel with music by Mathias Coppens, which integrates artificial intelligence and live video animation.

* BRYGGEN played its inaugural concert in 2020 at Concertgebouw Brugge and that is no coincidence: after Het Kamerorkest Brugge, the orchestra is the second metamorphosis of Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, founded more than half a century ago.