Winner of the Cziffra Foundation, graduated of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and Geneva Conservatory in modern and baroque flute, Anna Besson has been noted early by her success in several national and international competitions (International Competition of Canton de Neuchâtel, first prize unanimously and Excellence prize, 2009 - Second in the competition for the principal flute position of Orchestre de Lorraine, 2010 – Finalist of Magdeburg International Telemann Competition, 2015).
Invited by many festivals in France and abroad, Anna Besson plays with several chamber music partners as Ensemble Contraste, Geneviève Laurenceau, Arnaud Thorette, Antoine Pierlot, Johan Farjot, Yann Dubost, Quatuor Debussy, Jonas Vitaud, Juliana Steinbach, Pauline Haas, etc.
Since 2002 where she played « Les sons s’enroulaient dans l’air comme des nuages en fuite » for solo flute by Bruno Ducol (Festival Aujourd’hui Musiques) up to « Obsessions » Karol Beffa composed for her in 2009, Anna Besson also shows a large opening on the possible repertories that the flute allows. She has worked with composers such as Guillaume Connesson, who invited her to play two of his compositions on France Musique (broadcast "Un mardi idéal"), Heinz Holliger, etc.
As an active and versatile performer, Anna has spent several years developing her experience as a soloist and orchestral musician within ensembles such as La Chambre Philharmonique, Opéra de Paris, Le Concert Spirituel, Orchestre de Franche-Comté, Le Concert d’Astrée, Ensemble Matheus, Orfeo 55, and La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roi, Insula Orchestra, La Belle Aventure, and Ensemble Nevermind. She has also played in such prestigious festivals as Ambronay, Royaumont Abbey, Via Staelle in Siantago de Compostela, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Salzburger Festpiele, Bremen Festival, etc.
Anna is an artist supported by the Meyer Foundation and Mécénat Société Générale.
a nocte temporis
“a nocte temporis”: Latin translation of the French expression “depuis la nuit des temps”, which means “from time immemorial”. A nod towards the past, towards what is changing, and especially also towards what remains unchanged.
After several years of activity as a soloist with conductors such as William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Hervé Niquet, Christophe Rousset, and many others, Reinoud Van Mechelen founds his own ensemble in 2016. His goal is to present historically informed music as well as to emotionally touch an as large audience as possible.
Surrounded with musicians who share this passion he forms a nocte temporis. The two CDs the ensemble has recorded (‘Erbarme dich’ – airs of JS Bach for tenor and flute (2016) and ‘Clérambault, cantates françaises’ (2018) Alpha Classics) were reviewed with praise and received several prizes (a.o. two CHOC of Classica, five Diapasons, a Diapason d’Or and a Caecilia prize for best recording).
After a tour with the Bach program (visiting a.o. Warsaw, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Pavia), the ensemble continues its journey and is invited by prestigious venues such as Festival Radio France (Montpellier), MA festival (Brugge), Bozar (Brussels), the Chapelle Royale du Château de Versailles and also Wigmore Hall (London).
Reinoud Van Mechelen
graduated from his vocal studies at the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels in the class of Dina Grossberger in 2012. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Caecilia Prize as Young Musician of the Year from the union of the Belgian music press. An acknowledgement from "home" for the artist who managed to establish himself at numerous international stages within his early years of career.
Already in 2007 Reinoud Van Mechelen caught attention at the European Baroque Academy in Ambronay (France) under the baton of Hervé Niquet. In 2011 he was a member of William Christie’s and Paul Agnew’s "Jardin des Voix" and became a regular soloist of Les Arts florissants subsequently. Guest appeareances with this ensemble made him perform at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Edinburgh Festival, the Château de Versailles, the Bolchoï Theatre in Moscow, the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Philharmony and the Opéra Comique in Paris as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Many renowned Baroque ensembles such as Collegium Vocale, Le Concert Spirituel, La Petite Bande, Les Talens Lyriques, Pygmalion, Le Poème Harmonique, Il Gardellino, Insula Orchestra, L’Arpeggiata, Ludus Modalis, B’Rock, Ricercar Consort, Capriccio Stravagante, Scherzi Musicali and the European Union Baroque Orchestra ensured his cooperation.
In 2014 Reinoud Van Mechelen sang the part of the Evangelist in J. S. Bach's St. John Passionfor the first time in his career with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, a part he will be singing again with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, among others. The last few seasons have, however, been highlighted by his performances of Rameau’s title-role in Dardanus (Opéra national de Bordeaux) and Zoroastre (on concert-tour to the Festival de Montpellier et Radio-France, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Festival de Beaune, the Théâtre Royal in Versailles and the Theater an der Wien), both productions with Raphaël Pichon conducting. 2016/17 saw his Zurich Opera debut as Jason in Charpentier's Médée conducted by William Christie. Apart from numerous other commitments, he added further new roles in concert version to his repertory: Belmonte (The Abduction from the Seraglio) with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Gérald (Lakmé) with the Munich Radio Orchestra.
Besides numerous performances with his own ensemble, a nocte temporis, he took part in 2017/18 in the jubilee-production celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Concert Spirituel („Un opéra imaginaire“) as well as in two concert-tours with Les Arts florissants (Actéon by Charpentier in the USA and Selva Morale by Monteverdi in Paris, Versailles, Caen, Berlin and London). He also performed the title-role in Rameau’s Pygmalion at the Dijon Opera.
His season 2018/19 will be highlighted by his debuts at the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie (Tamino in Die Zauberflöte) and at the Staatsoper Berlin (Hippolyte in Hippolyte et Aricie under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle).
Reinoud Van Mechelen already joined numerous CD- and DVD-productions. His first solo CD with the title "Erbame Dich" (arias by J. S. Bach) was released by Alpha Classics in 2016 finding unanimous acclaim by the press and receiving both a "Choc" from the monthly magazine Classica („A Bach-recording blessed by the gods“) as well as one of 10 Caecilia-Awards for the best recordings of the year 2016. His second solo CD ("Clérambault, cantates françaises"), again by Alpha Classics, has been released in 2018 and generates no less enthousiasm than the first recording.