Dimitri Arnauts (°1973) is a composer who has dedicated himself to uplift and delight hearts, souls and minds through the reaffirmed beauty of melody, harmony, polyphony and counterpoint, and through the innumerable colors of instruments and human voices.
Born in 1973 in Brussels, Dimitri turns 46 this year and lives near the capital of Belgium.
After humanities in Woluwé-St-Pierre, with a focus on ancient Greek and mathematics, and while following music theory, reading and violin classes with Pr. Juri Braginski at the local music academy, he enjoyed choral practice in the school choir leaded by Egide Vissenaekens.
He started his higher education at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in 1989, at the faculty of applied sciences, aiming to become an Engineer-Architect. Meanwhile he discovered, the vocal music of Johann Sebastian Bach through his major masterpiece, the Mass in B Minor, (tenor voice) performing it several times with the University Choir of the UCL-Clerlande under the direction of Pr. Dr. Philippe Mercier, both in Belgium and abroad (Paris, Madeleine Church, etc...).
This experience was for him a milestone: in 1994 he decided to definitively quit his architecture and engineering plans, and he started as an autodidact to learn and practice music writing.
After a brief participation in the former Choir and Orchestra Aurora Nova leaded by S.Feye, he embarked on a journey with the Choir of the Chapelle des Minimes in Brussels: singing 2 or more Bach cantatas each month during seven years, under the direction of J.Vanherenthals mainly. He has thus performed around 140 Bach cantatas as a tenor / baryton chorister, as well as the two Bach passions, Christmas, Easter and Ascension Oratorios, etc...
From 2004 on Dimitri could dedicate more time to compose music, and has since written numerous works of various sizes and settings, being mainly cantatas, psalms, oratorios, concertos, symphonies and symphonic poems, and other vocal or orchestral works.
As an autodidact, Dimitri feels free to follow the paths of his heart, both in the aesthetics of his music as in the emotion and message it aims to convey. He does his work to the best of his abilities, in recognition of received graces and gifts, having nothing in sight but the elevation of the spirit, the delight of the soul and the enchantment of the heart.
Loving to be at the humble service of Goodness, Truth and Beauty - and bearing this service and testimony with joy and gratefulness towards the Creator - he established from the very beginning the foundations of his musical art on the Western tradition of tonal harmony, euphony, complex polyphony, fugue and counterpoint.
This science of the art of music writing, he wanted to rediscover it for himself and learn it in an autonomous manner: without theoretical study or academic recipe-books that would have him ending up fixed, dried out and losing his path to peer pressure... instead, by following only the voice of his heart, the means and visions of intuition, the desire of his soul and the capabilities of his spirit.
Musically, Dimitri Arnauts admits humbly and gladly to be a modest and indebted disciple of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, at whose service he had the privilege to be moved, formed and inspired - through a year-long vocal practice of his Cantatas, Passions, Oratorios as a chorister.
His first concert contribution as a composer occurred in June 2012, when an excerpt of his tone setting of Psalm 100 (11') was performed by the Choir and Orchestra of the Chapelle des Minimes in Brussels, under the direction of J.Stenzel. In 2018 he conducted the premiere of his 'Requiem Sancti Michaelis' (msatb+orchestra, 50') at St.-Catherine Church, in Duisburg, Belgium. In May of the same year, his four-hands piano suite 'Humble Memories' was premiered at BOZAR, Brussels, on the new Maene-Barenboim straight-strung piano.
He also completed that year choral and orchestral conducting courses, in Oxford, UK (James Jordan and Steve Pilkington, USA) and in Sherborne, UK (with Maestro Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Venezuela and Amy Bebbington, UK), and film music composition courses at the HKU Utrecht, The Netherlands (with Rens Machielse).
He has also been selected to participate in the first edition of the International Masterclass ‘Sacred Music Today’ in Stockholm, Sweden, under the high patronage of the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Catholic Church. He enjoyed there the tuition of acclaimed choral conductors Gary Graden and Mikael Wedar.
The same year, his chamber music contribution to the international Flute Infinity project was premiered at the Slovacki Theatre in Krakow, Poland. This project resulted in a collective CD, issued by the DUX label, and proposed for nomination at the Polish Classical Music Awards by the label.
In 2019-2020, Dimitri held a position as Artistic and Choir Director of St-Cecilia's Choir at Saint-John-the-Evangelist Church in Tervuren, Belgium.
He has published four albums of original music online, comprising organ solo works, choral works, vocal improvisations, electronic six-part fantasies, piano and synthesizer musings, symphonic poems and two full-length concert movies, totaling about 9 hours of new music, as well as numerous creative art videos and music clips.
His music has been premiered, performed or recorded internationally in various places: Belgium (BOZAR Brussels, Duisburg), Poland (Slovacki Theater Krakow, Tokarnia), United Kingdom (Chester, London), Germany (Hamburg), Lebanon (Beirut), Austria (Vienna), USA (New York, Princeton, etc...)
In early 2020, four of his planned symphonic premieres were cancelled due to the COVID-2019 Crisis and ensuing international restrictions.
During this COVID-19 Confinement period, he composed and produced a set of music videos with new original soundtracks, in collaboration with several established or upcoming artists from the USA, Lebanon, Austria, Belgium, Japan, Poland, Angola, Puerto-Rico, Kenya and Hungary.
These video's - more precisely those made for tenor Nelson Ebo - were nominated for and awarded a High Commendation in the category 'Best Digital Project for a Musician' at the 2020 Classical Music Digital Awards in the United Kingdom.
In Autumn 2021, Dimitri's first full-size chamber opera will be created at the Laeiszhalle-Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.