the orchestra


Peter Bogaert

Pieter Jansen


Olivia Bergeot

Jeroen De Beer

Aymeric De Villoutreys

Peter Hellemond

Wim Ilsen

Maxime Michaluk


Christophe Pochet

Jessica Tortorice*

Aleš Ulrich*

Mona Verhas

Femke Verstappen


Maxime Desert*

Hélène Koerver

Gergely Kota

Bartosz Korus

Jeroen Robbrecht*

Eva Van de Ven


Johannes Burghoff*

Francis Mourey*

Artem Shmahaylo

Suzanne Vermeyen

Lieselot Watté


Double Bass

Lode Leire*

Isaline Leloup*

*section leader

Our story started in 2015. Founder and artistic director David Ramael had the idea to give a fresh interpretation to the traditional concept of the string orchestra. He surrounded himself with a passionate group of artistic and business advisors, and together they decided to forge a new path. The emphasis was on telling stories in music. Stories about important social themes. Stories about people. But especially stories where the music is central.

It is therefore not surprising that they chose to make their home in the Antwerp district of Borgerhout. Borgerhout is the most densely populated district of Antwerp, with an incredible diversity of origins and nationalities. Many stories are bubbling up in this place and new ones are added every day. A fantastic source of inspiration!

Boho Strings soon gained an excellent reputation. With projects such as La Captive, D-Radicalize !, Urban Renaissance and In Deep Silence, they regularly appear on all major concert podia in Flanders, such as BOZAR, deSingel, De Bijloke and Concertgebouw Brugge. The ensemble not surprisingly consists of the finest string players from Belgium and surrounding countries.

david ramael

Artistic Director

David Ramael is the perfect example of the modern conductor: entrepreneurial, communicative, groundbreaking. It is very important for him to be as close as possible to his audience. He thus regularly organizes open rehearsals, where he gives listeners a look behind the scenes. He likes giving explanations before and during concerts, and is always ready for a meet-and-greet afterwards. In short, David is far from the old-fashioned ideal of the stiff maestro.

David Ramael holds degrees in orchestral conducting and musicology, and studied at the Brussels Royal Conservatory, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Universität Wien and the University of Minnesota. He received the prestigious Belgian American Education Foundation grant for his studies in the US.

His musical choices are mainly driven by a strong social commitment. In this way he wants to show that classical music still plays an important role in our society. An inspired vision brought in a sincere way. David is therefore regularly invited as a guest conductor in major concert halls and festivals in Belgium and abroad.

David lives with his fiancee in Borgerhout. In their spare time they love to go nature hiking with Tor, their American Staffie.

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 Boho Strings‘ founder and artistic director.

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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.


Hubert Vanhoe

Hubert’s degrees in Social Sciences and Business Administration marked the start of a successful career in the services industry. After (international) sales functions at DHL and Manpower, he took up leadership roles in the staffing and HR solutions business as CEO of USG People Belgium, COO of USG People Group and Director Professional Staffing at The Adecco Group.

His expertise and his drive to grow people and organisations led him in recent years to combine working with the talent of the future as a lecturer at Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences with consulting assignments at SME’s.

When he is not involved in teaching, reading or advising on strategy (execution), change and innovation, you can catch him binge-watching Netflix series or playing his bass guitar (at the level of a super-amateur). He loves the quote of that famous and dead German philosopher with the big moustache : “Without music, life would be a mistake.”