Biography

Ceunen, Felix Joseph (Ps. Phil Eastland)

Felix Ceunen was born in Heusden, a small village in the Belgian province “Limbourg”

He took the opportunity of learning to play the tuba at the musical school of Beringen in the same province.

After he ended his high school studies, he embarked on musical studies at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp and at the Conservatoire Royal of Liège.

He took lessons from:

    * François Dubois (solfeggio)

    * Gilbert de Greeve (harmony)

    * Norbert van der Jeught (tuba)

    * Frits Celis (transposition)

    * Theo Mertens (chamber music)

    * Fernand Terby (symphonic orchestra)

    * Yvon Duchêne (conductor of symphonic band)

    * André Jadot (counterpoint - fugue)

    * Marcel Mattheessens (piano)

    * Karl Smits (trombone)

At the moment, Felix Ceunen is retired as a musician of “The Royal Belgian Military Bands”.

In 1976 he conducts for the first time a small symphonic band; the “K.F. Heidegalm” from  Heusden-Berkenbos(1976-1984).

In the following years (till today), Felix remained conducting several symphonic bands:

  • *K.F. St.-Jozef”(Kleine-Brogel)(B)(1980-1990)
  • *K.F. St.-Isidorus (Molenbeersel)(B)(1984-1991)
  • *K.H. St.-Laurentius (Bocholt)(B)(1987-2002)
  • *Harmonie Waterschei-Zwartberg (Genk) (B)(2001-2007)
  • *K.F. St-Lambertus (Eindhout)(B) & K.M. St.-Barbaragilde (Balen) (B)(2002-2009)
  • *K.H. Hoeverheidegalm (Lillo-Houthalen)(B)(1995-2017)
  • *K.F. Hoop in de Toekomst (Hoepertingen)(B)(2007-2013)

He’s also the ‘Artistic Mentor’ and the ‘coach of the woodwinds and the brasses’ of the symphonic orchestra “Limburgs Orkest Jeugd & Muziek” (LOJM)(Hasselt)(B)(2003-).

In April 2011 he became the Artistic Director of the String Orchestra “Falta de Tiempo".

Further, he’s being asked several times as guest-director and coach in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa.

Felix was swayed by various enthusiasm including an overwhelming urge towards music that led him to compose more than 150 compositions of various kind.

In 2007, after he attended a concert of “playing modern techniques on the violin” in Mirecourt (France), his composition style changed, and he concentrates more and more on composing contemporary music.

He participated in master classes with Jan van Landeghem, Prof. Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Stefano Gervasoni, Prof. Composition at the "Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris", Clarence Mak, Head of Composition and Electronic Music at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA), Gian Paolo Luppi, Prof. of Composition at the "Conservatorio di Musica 'Giovan Battiste Martin' at Bologna" and Sergio Lanza, Prof. Composition and Analysis at the "Conservatorio 'A.Scontrino' of Trapani, and member of the Music Philosophy Seminar of the University of Milan".

In 2008, he became finalist of the “2° International ISME-IVME Composition Contest” with ’Akhlys', a composition for Violin solo.

Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, composed in the spring of 2009, was performed on March 13, 2010 by "The University of Mary Washington Symphony Orchestra" in Fredericksburg, Virginia (USA), and from September 2010, this composition is included in the repertoire of the "LOJM".

The National Composition Contest "Jef Van Hoof Prijs 2010" was awarded to Felix Ceunen for "Parcae", a composition for Violin solo

The International Harp Competition & Festival, the Netherlands has held a Contest for composers. 

Out of 19 compositions, one has been chosen to be performed during the 1st International Harp Competition & Festival, on Wednesday the 24th of March 2010: "Prosa in Miniatura", by Felix Ceunen. 

The comments of the jury about "Prosa in Miniatura": The many characteristic gestures form a colourful palette. In a short time span the piece develops into a caleidoscopic composition, that can remain interesting. The composer approaches the instrument in an original way, without using the cliches. 

Art-Oliver Simon, owner of "Simon Verlag für Bibliothekswissen" organized in February 2011 a "call for scores" for compositions for Double Bass. EYE-oh (for Double Bass and Piano) was selected and will be published by "Simon Verlag für Bibliothekswissen" (Berlin)(D). EYE-oh was premiered on Sunday, March 3, 2013 during a "Gesprächskonzert" in Berlin (D).

Finalist of the “3° International ISME-IVME Composition Contest 2011” with 'Meditation on Dufay’s ‘Nuper rosarum flores’', a composition for French Horn & Piano.

“Sorodha International Composition Contest for Violin Solo 2011”: 2nd Prize:with  the composition “Cadenza e Vivace” (based on the name of Dutilleux). Creation of “Cadenza e Vivace” by Mimi KIM at “deSingel” in Antwerp (B) (March 25, 2012). “Cadenza e Vivace” was also designated as one of the required works at the renowned Violin Contest of Cremona (It.) (2012).

In 2013, “Cadenza e Vivace” also was chosen as compulsory work on the violin competition in Seoul  (South Korea).

A highlight was the invitation in Berlin. The Flemish Representation in Berlin organized on Saturday, March 2, 2013 "Der flämische Komponist Felix Ceunen  im Portrait”. On Sunday, March 3, 2013 "Simon Verlag für Bibliothekswissen" organized a concert in Berlin-Friedrichshain entitled "Nachgefragt VI: Gesprächskonzert mit dem flämischen Komponisten: Felix Ceunen. The thread of this weekend was the composition EYE-oh for Double Bass & Piano.

The world premiere of Gorcum took place on 2 September 2013. This first performance was played by Windworx, led by their guest conductor Rik  Ghesquière. Soloist on French Horn: Sigrid Ceunen.

Drafting Squares, my composition for Piano was recorded by Nicolas Callot on the cd “Fingerprints #2: signatures from composing Flanders”. Fingerprints was an initiative of Componisten Archipel Vlaanderen (ComAV), in collaboration with Flanders Arts Institute, Flemish radio station Klara and with the support of Sabam for Culture. For more information on Fingerprints, contact Stef Coninx.

On December 3th, 2016, Nyali was created during the Osmose Festival at Evere (Brussels). Nyali is a composition for Violoncello and Piano.

Elogium for Harp-Solo, composed in 2011, was created by Alexander Rider at ”The Future Blend Project Concert”. The concert took place on Saturday 6th January 2018 at the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick (England).


Writing compositions of 'the light genre', Felix uses the pseudonym “Phil Eastland"