He amazes everyone when following his Latin-Greek education, he decides not to go to university. Not the musical antecedents in his family, but the local woodwind and brass band Sint Caecilia, which wanted to expand its membership base, led to his first flute lessons, given by the conductor…a clarinetist!
He amazes everyone when he, following his Latin-Greek education, decides not to go to university but to choose for the conservatory. His mother and father were not cheered with enthusiasm, especially when the principal flute of the radio orchestra of Stuttgart, discouraged Berten, because not convinced of his talent as a flute player.
Luckily he met Jan Van Reeth, professor at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and principle flute at the Belgian radio orchestra, who, in spite of the lack of earlier music education, decided to give Berten a chance and admitted him to higher music studies.
Because of an almost total ignorance of repertoire and artists, Berten is overwhelmed by the level of his fellow students. This puts him into action – for the experts – he practices all possible scale exercises and up to 7 etudes per week – in order to close the gap.
Barely a year later he is unexpectedly given the possibility to become a piccolist in the opera orchestra in Antwerp. Then follow different jobs at a quick rate: with the ‘Filharmonie’, the ‘National Orchestra’ and the ‘National Opera’, better known as ‘La Monnaie-DeMunt’.
Meantime he finishes his studies ‘cum laude’ and he combines a busy orchestra practice with a nearly full-time schedule teaching little children in music schools.
At 25, already appointed as Professor for flute at the LUCA School of Arts, he is invited for an audition for the world famous Berliner Philharmoniker. Relentlessly hard, but extremely fair, it became clear that neither Berten’s preparation nor level were good enough and disillusioned he flew back to Antwerp.
Years of doubt follow, which eventually result in a firm intention to study all elements of the flute, a ‘dissection to the bone’, a quest for demystification, a reduction of the magical concept of ‘talent’ to the more ‘manageable’ thorough professionalization of the different elements of a ‘musical-communicative flute playing at the highest level’.
The last fifteen years, the instrumental-technically groundbreaking demands of today’s contemporary music as principal flute at the ‘Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles’ and the high level of education that is required in the ‘Musikhochschule Köln’ contributed to the ever greater evolution as an artist with a highly personal language and a unique view on music and the world in general.
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