Lieven Bertels new director for Sydney Festival

Lieven Bertels, currently artistic director for Holland Festival, will soon be off to Sydney, Australia to lead one of the biggest festivals in the world. From 2013 on he will be directing three editions of the Sydney Festival, as Arts Flanders reports.

Born in Flanders, Belgium, Lieven Bertels studied Musicology at the University of Leuvenand Composition in the United Kingdom. Prior to Holland Festival, Bertels was Artistic Director of Concertgebouw Brugge, an arts centre in Flanders, presenting a broad range of art forms.

Bertels’ earlier career includes work as a producer at Flemish Cultural Radio Klara (focusing on jazz and youth audiences); Head of the Audio Department at the Brussels Film, Radio and TV School; and producing for record and radio companies including Decca, BMG Classics, Megadisc and BBC Scotland. What people think of Bertels

Support for Bertels comes from peers and artists alike. Renowned festival and former Sydney Festival Director Brett Sheehy said, “Lieven is a terrific choice for Sydney Festival. I have long-admired his work at Holland Festival and this is a very exciting appointment for Sydney.”

Mike Patton, singer of the rock band Faith No More said: “My experiences have been nothing short of an amusement park! Thrilling, exciting, creative, surprising, and always a pleasure... you leave the ride with a shameless smile on your face! Lieven is fearless in his programming and presentations, with a fresh and musical energy and understanding that is rare among people in his position. His thirst and ultimate drive to make abstract ideas real is an inspiration.”

Musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson added: “The combination of the Sydney Festival and Lieven Bertels is electric, fantastic. He’s a brilliant thinker and working with him in Bruges and Amsterdam was a great experience. Artists love working with Lieven. He has a unique ability to find the right audiences.”