What is the animal spirit?

“Animal spirits” is a philosophical term used in the baroque period which defines a certain kind of “subtle stream” that runs through the bodies of human beings and is able to affect their soul and ignite their emotions. Coming from three different continents, and representing new generations of historically informed performers, the members of the baroque band Les Esprits Animaux want to have the same effect in their audience. Through an informed preparation of our programs and very dynamic concert presentations we intend to create a bond with the listener, to find ways to tell stories set to music several hundred  years ago to the society of the 21st century. Energy, vitality, virtuosity and imagination are some of the terms which critics have used to define the ensemble. Our goal is to move the emotions and affect the souls of human beings through a music that was composed not only to be heard, but to be lived.

A short bio

Les Esprits Animaux is a Netherlands-based baroque band created in 2009. The group has earned through the last years great acclamation of both music critics and audiences. It has enjoyed an intense concert schedule, performing in several European countries as well as in Japan.

In 2016, Les Esprits Animaux has been awarded 1st prize, press jury prize, youth jury prize and Early Music Season prize at the “International Van Wassenaer Competition 2016”.

Since 2010, Les Esprits Animaux, after being selected young ensemble in residence in Centre Culture de Rencontre d’Ambronay, have been invited to participate in the Festival d’Ambronay until the present year. The band has pursued since then its musical journey performing at the Fringe and the Fabulous Fringe of the Oude Musiek Festival in Utrecht (The Netherlands), the Fringe of MAfestival in Bruges (Belgium) and in the International Young Artist Platform in Antwerp (Belgium) where it was awarded “Promising Ensemble 2011”. In 2012, it has participated in the contest “Göttinger Reihe Historischer Musik” in Göttingen (Germany).

In 2013, the ensemble had the opportunity to perform in Bozart in Brussels and to be in residence at the Centre Cultural Voce in Pigna in Corsica (France). Among other previous projects, they performed in “The Day of La Petite Bande” in Leuven as well as concerts in the European Parliament in Brussels representing Ambronay as European Culture Ambassador 2011. In 2012 Les Esprits Animaux made its first Japan tour.

The group has been invited to the Kerkconcerts in ‘t Woudt (The Netherlands) for four consecutive years. In 2011, the Fundación “La Caixa” selected Les Esprits Animaux to perform in several cities in Spain within the framework of Festival Antiqva, a part of the 34th edition of the Festival de Música Antigua de Barcelona. The band performed in different international festivals such as 24th edition of “Printemps Musical en Pays Roannais”  in 2012 (France), “II Festival Rutas de Alba” in 2012 (Spain), “Gent Festival van Vlaanderen” (Belgium) in 2012 and 2013, Tassin La Demi-Lune in 2013 (France) “L’Éte Musical de Roisin” 2014 (Belgium), MAFestival de Bruges 2014 (Belgium) and the 24th International Early Music Festival Banchetto Musicale” in Vilnius in 2014 (Lithuania). Festival Musiq3 in 2015 (Belgium), “Les Jardins Musicaux 2015” (Switzerland), “Contrepoints 62” (France) in 2015, “Festival Musique Baroque Fammene Ardene 2015” (Belgium), Festival van Vlaanderen-Antwerpen (AMUZ) in 2015 (Belgium), “Musica Antica da Camera 2015” (The Netherlands), De Blijoke in 2015 (Belgium), Stadspodia Leiden 2016 (The Netherlands), Kasteelconcerten 2016 (The Netherlands) La Folle Journée en Nantes et en Region 2016 (France), “Juillet Musical de Saint-Hubert 2016 (Belgium) and “Antiqua 2016” (Italy), Festival de Saint-Michel en Thiérache 2017 (France), Festes Baroques en Terre de Grave et de Sauternais 2017 (France)

The ensemble recorded broadcastings with France Musique (France), Musiq3 (Belgium), NPO Radio4, Radio Klara (Belgium), and Concertzender Nederland (The Netherlands). After having recorded its first CD for Ambronay Éditions (Harmonia Mundi) with a programme dedicated to G. Ph. Telemann in 2011, the ensemble recorded its second CD in 2013 with a program entitled “Transfigurations” for the same label.