Koen Rens (°1965) started violin lessons as a Suzuki student with Jeanne Janssens in Turnhout, Belgium. Later on, as a student of Dirk Lippens, he won the degree of excellence in the Conservatorium of Bruges, where he made his debut as a soloist with orchestra. He then studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels and won first prizes in violin and chamber music in 1989, studying with Katalyn Sébèstyen and Guido De Neve. He obtained the final diploma of the European Suzuki Association in Suzuki pedagogy in 1992.
He played with the chamber orchestra of the European Community, the Sallinen String quartet and the Rubens piano trio, and with the folk band Galley Head. He was appointed as a Teacher Trainer for ESA in 2000.
In 2002 he went to study violin, psychology and pedagogy in the Conservatoire Royal de Liège and got the final diploma in 2003 with a thesis on the development of autonomy in Suzuki-trained students.
Koen Rens has a thriving studio for over’ 30 years now and is teaching violin and conducting the Symphony Orchestra at the Academy of Music in Turnhout, Belgium. He has been invited to teach and perform in most European countries, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, United States, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. He taught, conducted and lectured at the 14th Suzuki Method World Conference in Italy in 2006 as well as at the 16th Suzuki Method World Convention in Matsumoto, Japan and was invited to teach on the Australian and SAA National conferences. He was teaching and lecturing at the first All-American Conference in Cancun. He lectured, amongst others, at the University of Alcala de Hénares (Madrid), the Grieg Akademiet (Bergen, Norway), the High school for Music and Pedagogy in Kaunas (Lithuania), the Aristoteles University in Macedonia (Greece) and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels as well as the Utah State University.
For more than 15 years he was the Belgian deputy on the Board of Directors of the European Suzuki Association and secretary and later Chairman of the Talent Education Suzuki Institute Belgium. From 2009 to 2011 he served as Chairman of the European Suzuki Association and worked as such towards a more active role of the Suzuki Philosophy in the everyday workings of the European Suzuki Community. In 2020 he was appointed as Chair of the ESA violin committee and in that role also a member of the ISA violin committee.
Together with Wilfried Van Gorp he founded and directs the Belgian Suzuki Chamber Orchestra.
Since 2005 he is director of the Suzuki violin Teacher training program for the Lithuanian Suzuki Association and since 2014 for the LSA in Latvia. Since 2015 he also trains teachers for the Catalonian Suzuki Association in Barcelona (Spain). He serves on the Faculty of the AP Royal Conservatory of music in Antwerpen teaching a Postgraduate Course in Suzuki Pedagogy, in collaboration with Veerle Van Gorp and Wim Meuris.
Subject: postgraduate suzuki