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Ward Opsteyn

Ward Opsteyn began his musical career at the music academy in Lanaken and continued his studies at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven in the trumpet class of Léon Pétré. There he obtained First Prizes in solfège, harmony and practical harmony, the Master Degree for chamber music and a Specialization Degree for trumpet.

After his studies at the Lemmens Institute, he combined teaching with Postgraduate studies for trumpet with Peter Masseurs, the then trumpet soloist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. During this period he performed regularly as a freelance musician with, among others, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders (now Antwerp Symphony Orchestra) and the VRT Orchestra (now Brussels Philharmonic).

Since January 2000 Ward has been a permanent member of the Belgian National Orchestra as trumpet soloist. He was also active in several brass ensembles, not only as a performer but also as an arranger. With the Gabriëli Koperkwintet he made several CD recordings on which his arrangements and transcriptions can be found.

Jazz and light music have also been part of his musical world from an early age. As a young teenager he took part in several jazz courses and during his training at the Lemmens Institute he was taught by Bert Joris and others and played in the big band conducted by Frank Vaganée. More recently he took jazz piano lessons from Stan Driesen.

In his music we often hear a self-willed mix of different musical styles. His broad knowledge of jazz and classical harmony and of all kinds of orchestration techniques came in handy in some unique projects.

He has worked with, among others, jazz trumpeter Sam Vloemans and pianist Florian Verschueren to translate their compositions into the world of the hafabra. As part of United Music of Brussels, he made special arrangements of music by Marocking Brass and Zwangere Guy, to be performed with the BNO wind players. He also regularly arranges music for the Belgian National Orchestra for school and other productions.

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