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Latest News: Member News

Lieven Bertels made Knight in 'Order of the Crown'

Tuesday, June 4, 2013   (0 Comments)

Help us congratulate ISPA Board member Lieven Bertels on being awarded the great honor of Knight in the Order of the Crown by his home country, Belgium!  A full press release is listed below, and can also be seen on the Sydney Festival website in full here

Lieven BertelsBelgium has awarded the civilian honour of Knight in the Order of the Crown to Belgian national, Lieven Bertels, Director of Sydney Festival 2013-2015.

The title was awarded in a Royal Decree by King Albert II on 16 April, 2013 in recognition of Bertels' distinguished contribution to the arts, both within Belgium and abroad.

His Excellency Mr Patrick Renault, Ambassador of Belgium to Australia, will formally present the regalia of the Order of the Crown to Bertels at a function in Sydney on 4 June.

Mr. Renault commented on the occasion: "It is my privilege to bestow upon Mr Lieven Bertels the decoration of Knight in the Order of the Crown on behalf of His Majesty the King."

"This high award is in recognition of Mr Bertels' brilliant career in Belgium (notably as Artistic Director of the Concertgebouw Brugge - one of the main artistic institutions in the country) as well as overseas, in the Netherlands, and now in Australia, as Director of Sydney Festival."

"In doing so, Belgium recognizes the eminent services rendered in the field of the arts by our compatriot. Through his artistic and creative abilities, Mr Lieven Bertels has been an outstanding ambassador for Belgium. He has come to represent the artistic excellence our country is well known for and is therefore an ideal and well deserving recipient of this honour." Mr Renault said.

Lieven Bertels said "This is a great honour for me. Belgium has a long track record of sending its artists and arts administrators around the globe, and I feel privileged to step into the footsteps of the numerous illustrious Belgian creative leaders that have made their mark outside our small nation. As a proud Belgian I will endeavour to put our country on the map wherever I go."

For Sydney Festival 2013, Lieven Bertels presided over a festival that achieved 121 sold-out performances and a gross box office of more than $7.3m. Over 120,000 tickets were sold across 321 ticketed performances. The Festival included 7 world premieres, 3 Australian premieres and 13 Australian exclusives, with more than 975 artists coming from 22 different countries, reaching an audience of more than 500,000 people across 23 days.

Bertels' next Sydney Festival runs for three weeks in January, 2014. Bertels was previously the Artistic Coordinator of Holland Festival, the Netherlands' oldest and largest annual arts festival.

Born in Belgium, Lieven Bertels studied musicology in Belgium and composition in the United Kingdom. Prior to Holland Festival, Bertels was Artistic Director of Concertgebouw Brugge. His earlier career includes work as a producer at Belgian National Cultural Radio Klara; Head of the Audio Department at the Brussels Film, Radio and TV School; and producing for record and radio companies.