Bernd van Echelpoel
Bernd van Echelpoel is considered to be one of the most prominent tuba players in Belgium and Europe. At a young age Bernd was the winner of the 2006 Lieksa Brass Week in Finland and the Gold medal at the “Concours Europeënne pour Jeunes Solistes 2006” in Luxemburg. He later went on to graduate with his masters degree and won his first job at the Holland Symfonia (now known as the Ballet Orchestra) in Amsterdam where he remained before accepting the same position with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (NedPhO). Shortly after joining the NedPhO he was again successful in winning the solo tuba chair with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as the Royal philharmonic orchestra of Flanders) in his home town Antwerp. He has remained since 2009.
As a teacher, Bernd was invited as guest professor with the Luca School of Arts, (Lemmens campus) in Leuven. Since 2013 he succeeded his former tuba teacher Hendrik-Jan Renes as tuba professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp where he teaches tuba and euphonium and holds a similar position at “dé Kunsthumaniora” and “Mago” in Antwerp. Bernd is also active as a conductor, working with the A.M.Brass, a youth brassband based in Antwerp and is currently the assistant conductor with Festival Brassband and Brassband Bacchus.
Bernd studied with Arthur Vanderhoeft, Nick Ost and Bart Van Neyghem and graduated with Hendrik-Jan Renes (Tuba) and dirk De Caluwé (in conducting) at the Conservatoires of Antwerp and Rotterdam with honor.
As a soloist he played with the Mikkeli String Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Spectra Ensemble, the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Air Force, Symphonic band of the Antwerp Conservatoire, Festival Brassband, Brassband Bacchus, and the Brassband excelsior Kloetinge. Also active as a chamber musician, he is associated with the Ottone Brass Quintet and Benny Wiame’s New Brass Directions and he works freelance for several other top ensembles.
Bernd has a fondness for new compositions and contributed to several new works by Nick Van Elsen, Jelle Tassyns, Geert Callaert, Wim Bex, Steven Verhelst and Roger Derongé. He has premiered several previously unknown pieces for solo tuba in the Benelux.
Aside to playing the tuba, teaching and conducting, Bernd leads a busy family life and has a passion for food and gardening.
Bernd plays as B&S, Melton Meinl Weston and Besson Artist on the B&S JBL Classic F tuba, Melton Fafner 195 Bb tuba, Besson BE981S 1-0 Eb tuba and Besson 994 Bb tuba.