Filip Rathé

Category:componist, docent
Genre(s):21ste eeuw / hedendaags
Conductor of:Spectra Ensemble
Contact of:Spectra Ensemble

Short description

Rathé‘s composing and conducting activities have a special emphasis on contemporary vocal-instrumental chamber (-ensemble) music. For his inspiration he often taps into silence: he weaves his refined time constructs with sparsely placed tones.


"Morning light at 4 a.m. in Helsinki harbour. A Brazilian poem. Rothko’s paintings. The sound of waves on the pebbles of the beaches in Normandy.
Can the strength of wisdom explain the mysteries of beauty?
Subconscious associations generate continuously changing motions in body and mind.
Memory, future of our past. The present: never complete and always fading.
Music emerging from basic emotional gestures, an incomprehensible narrative translated into sound and seemingly irreversible time.
Association as a constructive plan, gestures for bricks, motion in/is time.
Every answer a question, every challenge one more opportunity." (Filip Rathé)

Filip Rathé graduated at the Conservatoire of Ghent for piano and conducting. Afterwards he specialized in conductorship with Laszlo Heltay and Pierre Cao and studied composition with Lucien Goethals. At the University of Ghent he acquired a Master Degree of musicology with professor Herman Sabbe. Today he is a lecturer at the Music Schools of Higher Education in Ghent and Antwerp, teaching musical analysis, contemporary chamber music and doing research on the music of Nicolaus A. Huber. Between 1992 en 2001 he directed the contemporary music choir “De Tweede Adem”. Since 1993 he is artistic leader of the SPECTRA Ensemble with which he conducted concerts in Europe and South-America premiering over 60 new compositions. He appeared as guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, the Flemish Radio Choir, the Jeune Philharmonie and several contemporary music ensembles (Aquarius-ensemble, Hermes-ensemble, I Solisti del Vento).
His compositions include a.o.: Canção do Caminho (SSAATTBB; 1998), O ultimo poema (ensemble; 2001), Das Utopias (17 string players; 2003), Canção de vidro (16 voices; 2004); La velocidad de las Tinieblas (amplified voice and ensemble; 2005). At present he is composing for the Dutch ensemble ‘De Volharding’. His works were performed a.o. by the Flemish Radio Choir, ASKO (N), the SPECTRA Ensemble and the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense.

Since 2004 Musicological research on the work of Nicolaus A. Huber.

Since 1999 Professor of musical analysis and contemporary chamber music at Conservatory of Antwerp.

Since 1993 Artistic director and conductor of the SPECTRAEnsemble.Since 1989 Professor of musical analysis and contemporary chamber music at the Department of Music, Ghent Conservatory.

1984 - 1999 Formation as pianist, conductor and musicologist. • Composition studies with Lucien Goethals.


Key works:

O AMOR NATURAL (2008) for soprano, mezzo, counter
tenor, tenor, bar., bass.

PAIXARINHO (2008) for ensemble (fl, tpt (3), sax (3), tbn (3), hn, pno, bass-guit)

LA VELOCIDAD DE LAS TINIEBLAS (2005) for ensemble (fl (picc), cl (b-cl), hn, tbn, pno, bajan, perc, vn1, vn2, va, vc, cb, amplified voice.

POR QUE LA MUERTE ES MENTIRA (2005) for mixed choir.


DAS UTOPIAS (2002) for 17 solo-strings (

ÚLTIMO POEMA: album de retratos para György Kurtag (2001) for ensemble (fl, ob, cl, b-cl, hn, pno, vn1, vn2, va, vc, cb)


THATAGATHAGARBHA(1990) for flute, violin, cembalon.


Selective discography

Posman LucienPosman Lucien
21st century / contemporary, 20th century
Lucien Posman, Arco Baleno, Filip Rathé, Spectra Ensemble, Inge Haenebalcke, Serenata Forlana, Kaliope, Ann De Renais (...)
Lucien GoethalsLucien Goethals
20th century
Spectra Ensemble, Dina Grossberger, Harry Sparnaay, Polo de Haes, Lucien Goethals, Filip Rathé

Selectieve discografie als componist

A tensionA tension (2022)
21st century / contemporary, 20th century
Spectra Ensemble, Karel Goeyvaerts, Frederik Neyrinck, Filip Rathé, Luc Brewaeys
SPECTRA - 20 years for the recordSPECTRA - 20 years for the record (2014)
21st century / contemporary
Spectra Ensemble, Frederik Neyrinck, Annelies Van Parys, Charlotte Riedijk, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Alex Van Aeken, Filip Rathé, Roel Smedts (...)
En hij schiep... 7 culturenEn hij schiep... 7 culturen (2005)
20th century
De Tweede Adem, Maarten Van Ingelgem, Lucien Posman, Peter Swinnen, Filip Rathé, Petra Vermote, Natalie Goossens, Nicolas De Cock (...)
November Music 2004November Music 2004 (2004)
20th century
BL!NDMAN, Filip Rathé

Author of

Nieuwsgierige muziek
Nieuwsgierige muziek

Related Items

Documents:Nieuwe koormuziek in Vlaanderen (thesis)