Philippe Herreweghe was born in Ghent, where he studied at the university while training as a pianist with Marcel Gazelle. In 1970 he founded Collegium Vocale Gent, and in 1977 the Parisian ensemble La Chapelle Royale. From 1982 to 2002 he was artistic director of the Academies Musicales de Saintes. During this period he created the Ensemble Vocal Europeen and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées. At the invitation of the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, and since 2011 also with the support of the cultural programme of the European Union, Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent have worked on the formation of a large symphonic chorus on a pan-European scale. Constantly seeking new musical challenges, Philippe Herreweghe has also been active for some years in the core symphonic repertoire. He has been principal conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (deFilharmonie) since 1997, and in 2008 was appointed guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic (Radio Kamer Filharmonie). Over the years, he has amassed an extensive discography of more than one hundred recordings. In 2010 he founded his own label (PHI) in order to build a rich and varied catalogue in complete artistic freedom.