the orchestra


Peter Bogaert

Pieter Jansen


Peter Hellemond

Bartosz Korus

Ewoud Mahler

Maxime Michaluk

Jessica Tortorice*


Zhazira Ukeyeva

Aleš Ulrich

Jeroen Vernimmen

Femke Verstappen

Maïté Wenda

Emily Wu


Jordan Bergmans

Maxime Desert*

Hélène Koerver

Danila Mashkin

Eva Van de Ven


Francis Mourey*

Artem Shmahaylo

Suzanne Van Duuren

Suzanne Vermeyen

Lieselot Watté


Double Bass

Lode Leire

Isaline Leloup

What does classical music contribute to the modern world? What does it mean to be a classical musician in today’s internationalized society? Is it possible to present classical music as a source for societal self-reflection?

The string orchestra Boho Strings seeks to answer these questions in an openminded and unconventional way. Inspired by the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of their homebase in the Antwerp district of Borgerhout, Boho Strings strives for a more inclusive, compassionate and understanding society through music.

Boho Strings is a reflection of the super-diversity in our society. Algeria, Belgium, France, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey the United Kingdom and the United States – all these nationalities are represented among its musicians. This richness of backgrounds and experiences are a constant source of creative inspiration, which hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Boho Strings has acquired in short term a permanent place in the Belgian music scene,  and with projects such as Trinity, La Captive and D-Radicalize! the ensemble is a regular guest at BOZAR, deSingel, De Bijloke, and Concertgebouw Brugge.

david ramael

Artistic Director

David Ramael is at the forefront of a new generation of entrepreneurial conductors, who try to give renewed relevance to classical music in today’s fragmented and internationalized society. As Artistic Director of Boho Strings, he has already achieved a remarkable track  record of creating new and unique programs, by concertizing in unconventional venues and by fully embracing the transformative qualities of music.

Prior to his role with Boho Strings, David Ramael was active for 10 years in the United States, where he led a number of high profile orchestral programs at universities in New York, as well as being Artistic Director of Gemini Youth Orchestras.

David Ramael holds advanced degrees in conducting and musicology, having studied at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, the Free Brussels University, the University of Vienna and the University of Minnesota. He was grant recipient of the prestigious Belgian American Education Foundation.

Known for his genuine heartfelt musicianship, and his originality in combining a clear artistic vision with a strong interest in social issues, David Ramael is a frequent guest in all the major concert halls in Belgium, such as BOZAR, Concertgebouw Brugge, deSingel and De Bijloke, and with orchestras such as the Belgian National Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Vlaamse Sinfonietta, and the Orquestra Clássica da Madeira.

leadership team


Jorden Van Mechelen, President

Jorden Van Mechelen,


Jorden works as Projectleader Building Techniques at Groep Van Roey. He obtained a Master’s in Civil Engineering at the Catholic University Leuven and an MBA in Corporate Planning at the Free University Brussels. He served on the board of the Jeugd- en Muziekorkest of Antwerp, where he also was percussion section leader. Nowadays Jorden still performs as a drummer /percussionist in two rock bands.

David Ramael, Artistic Director

David Ramael,

Artistic Director

David Ramael is at the forefront of a new generation of entrepreneurial conductors, who try to give renewed relevance to classical music in today’s fragmented and internationalized society.

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Jessica Tortirice, Orchestra Manager

Jessica Tortorice,

Orchestra Manager

Jessica studied violin at the Juilliard School, Royal College of Music London and Aaron Copland School of Music. She is a permanent member of Boho Strings and a founding member of the boho4 string quartet. In recent years she has played with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, the Monnaie Opera Orchestra and the Royal Liège Philharmonic.


Marc Sabbah, Artistic Committee Member

Marc Sabbah

A viola soloist, chamber musician, composer and as of 2012, the solo violist with the Belgian National Orchestra. Marc has won top prizes at the Moscow Arts Competition in Boston, the Horowitz International Competition and Academy in Kiev, Ukraine, (2004) performing Hoffmeister concerto for viola and orchestra as well as Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Ukranian State Orchestra.

Sergio Roberto Gratteri, Artistic Committee Member

Sergio Roberto Gratteri

Associate Master in Musicology and Cultural Management. Active in the field of Audience Engagement and Art Education. Previously coordinator of Music Education, Learning & Participation at Centre for Fine Arts Brussels (BOZAR).

Trio Khaldei CD release photo

Pieter Jansen

Pieter Jansen graduated at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp with a Master’s degree summa cum laude.

He is an avid chamber and orchestral musician, in ensembles such as Trio Khaldei, Spectra, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Le Concert Olympique. He has been concertmaster with Boho Strings since 2017.


Valerie Thiry, Business Committee Member

Valerie Thiry

Founder and Managing Partner at The Good Time Company Previously worked at Lenovo, IBM, PriceWater-houseCoopers

Herwig Braeckmans, Business Committee Member

Herwig Braeckmans

Founder and Managing Partner at Fibracom Accountancy.

Claïs Sofie Lemmens, Business Committee Member

Claïs Sofie Lemmens

Claïs works for the Marketing Department of Kunsthuis Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. Previously she worked as Project Manager for neoScores. She is also the co-founder of Belgium, the national organisation for women in music.