The multi-disciplinary artist Nicholas Lens is a contemporary Belgian author/composer and (recently as well) director.
Nicholas Lens (sometimes credited as Nicolas Lens or Nicolas Lenz) was born in Ypres, a small provincial town near the French border in Flanders, Belgium. His godfather taught him violin when he was five. He studied trumpet and double-bass, first at local academies and then at Royal conservatories. Later on he studied viola da gamba with Sophie Watillon.
While he was studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, he started composing professionally for theatrical projects, film and television. While a member of the National Orchestra of Belgium, the conductor Mendi Rodan offered him a contract as a double bass player in the Israel Sinfonietta in Beersheeva, Israel.
He had to make an important choice between the career of a professional musician and the uncertain life conditions of an autodidact composer. He made his choice.
Meanwhile he was caught by the virus of globetrotting. Inspired by this new passion, adventurous traveling, he started to create a musical -and recently as well a visual- oeuvre of the maze of images gathered in his mind.
His work is published by Schott Music International, Mainz/New York and distributed by Sony BMG International.
Lens spent his youth in Ypres in Flanders, Belgium, a war town surrounded by several American and British cemeteries. He grew up in a musical family of five children. His mother was a professional piano player. He has a brother who is a professional classical singer, his oldest sister lives since years in Havanna, Cuba where she is the chief-cook of Fidel Castro.
His godfather André Moerman, a concert violinist, was paralysed due to the MS-disease. As his godfather was bored by sitting all day in his wheelchair he taught the violin to Nicholas Lens when he was at the age of five. Lens was singing in several youth choirs.
His official -but funny and ironical- biography quotes:
Once when the child Nicholas Lens was playing the violin in a very enthusiastic way during the lessons, his bow touched, by accident, the director of the local academy on one of his vital organs. So the little Nicholas’ violin career ended when he was ten
And it goes on:
His first television appearance was as a clarion player when he was eleven. He was asked to play “The Last Post” at an official ceremony at a British and American war cemetery. Nicholas was wearing short pants and it was freezing cold. The television crew members offered him some brandy. The version of “The Last Post” he played during the ceremony on his horn was never heard before.
Lens moved from Ypres to Brussels at the age of fifteen.
He was supporting his own studies at the Royal Conservatory by writing music for theater plays and television.
It is believed that one day he was kicked out of the Conservatory of Brussels by the director in person with whom Lens had a serious divergence of views on matters of musical education. The director of that Conservatory (Kamiel D'Hooghe, dir. between 1967-1994) heard that Lens, as a student, did accept to compose commissioned music to provide himself an income, which was in that time against the regulations of the institute.
Lens went traveling all over the world and became an autodidact author/composer. He’s having one daughter with a French-speaking Belgian television journalist that he met during an interview for RTL-News.
Now Lens is a single father and lives in Brussels with his ten year-old daughter Clara-Lane.
Submitted by walter at Fri 25 Apr, 2008 10:00 am
Last updated by Sanderxx at Tue 12 Jun, 2012 12:32 pm