After studying civil engineering and architecture in Louvain-la-Neuve, which he completed with great distinction, and writing a dissertation on “Music and Architecture”, Michel Keustermans obtained a higher diploma in (recorder playing?) at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in the class of Frédéric de Roos, as well as a first prize in chamber music and music history.
In 1992 he founded La Cetra d’Orfeo, an early music ensemble with which he has given more than 800 concerts and performances on the international scene.
Convinced that music should be transmitted as an emotion to be shared, he has worked to make his concerts accessible to everyone without sacrificing musicological research or the high musical level of his performances, with the help of the best specialists in the style.
In the organisation of his projects, he sees himself more as a catalyst of energies, a gatherer of talents than a real leader. Surrounded by a team of efficient and loyal professionals and volunteers, he realizes his numerous creations with their help, in a close-knit team spirit and a friendly atmosphere. Human relations and humour are at the heart of his work, but also of his communication, which makes his concerts particularly warm.
For many years, Michel Keustermans has conceived each concert programme as a creation, a composition in its own right. New concepts are reinvented and reworked each time, both in terms of content and in terms of their original form. To do this, he works with numerous personalities from the artistic world, from all disciplines, who enthusiastically follow him in his approaches, sometimes off the beaten track. He also manages to captivate the public with simple and friendly presentations, which are unanimously appreciated.
Passionate about teaching, he teaches chamber music at the Waterloo Academy. As a composer, he regularly presents new works for choir, soloists or orchestra to the public or to his students. He has also produced dozens of arrangements of old dances and songs, including numerous ballads.
With the support of his team, he has created FestiVita!, whose first edition took place on the 5th of March 2021, despite the health crisis. This is the starting point for a new festival of early music in Brussels, whose many ambitious objectives are based on the culmination of over 40 years of international musical experience.