The tension between his activities as a performer, improviser (piano, prepared piano, amplified objects, live-electronics) and composer are essential for Stefan Prins’s (Belgium, 1979) recent musical evolution. The motor behind all this is a constant questioning of existing mechanisms, structures and ways of thinking. His goal is to search for contemporary relations between composer, score, performer, improviser, technology, audience and society through the medium of music.
He started to play the piano when he was seven. After graduating with greatest distinction at the Music School, he started to study engeneering and graduated as an engeneering-physicist at the age of 23. During these studies, his interest shifted from classical piano-playing to free improvisation (often collaborating with dancers), and composition. In 2002 he started to study fulltime piano and composition at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, where he is currently doing the Master program composition with Luc Van Hove. For a specialisation at the Sonology-department of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague (2004-2005 – The Netherlands), he received a scholarship from the Flemish Government.
Currently he also studies Technology in Music at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels with Peter Swinnen. His interest in contemporary technology (such as computer-driven soundprocessing and computer aided composition), its possibilities and shortcomings, in musical contexts grew swiftly, and his recent compositions and improvisations often include/reflect upon technology.
He received several commissions from the Flemish Government, and his compositions have been played by the ensemble for contemporary music Champ d’Action, the Ensor String Quartet, Agartha, Prometheus Ensemble, collectief reFLEXible a.o. on festivals such as Time Canvas Festival 2005, Transit Festival 2006, Week of the Contemporary Music 2006, Music@venture 2007, De Nieuwe Reeks 2007 at deSingel (Antwerp), Concertgebouw Brugge, STUK (Leuven), Muhka (Antwerp), Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Antwerp), BOZAR (Brussels), de Bijloke (Gent), Logos (Gent), Orpheus Institute (Gent), ...
He was laureate at the "KBC Aquarius Composition for Young Composers" (Brussels, 2001), received a second price at the "Week of the Contemporary Music" (Gent, Belgium, 2006) for “Erosie (Memory Space #1)” (amplified viola & bayan/accordion) and his composition ”Memory Space #2” (recorder, percussion, electric guitar, piano, doublebass and live-electronics) was selected by ISCM Belgium for the ISCM World Music Days in Hong Kong (2007) and Vilnius (2008). Some of his compositions have been broadcasted by the Flemish Classical Radio Station and are recorded by Champ d’Action, with whom he has been working intensely over the past few years, both as musician and composer. He collaborated closely with Richard Barrett, Karlheinz Essl, Mark Applebaum & Serge Verstockt a.o.
He performs as an improviser in Belgium and abroad, using (prepared) piano, amplified objects and live-electronics, in projects including dance, video, film, plastical arts and performance.
Together with Thomas Olbrechts, Joachim Devillé and Nicolas Rombouts, he was one of the founders of the “collectief reFLEXible” – an ensemble that focuses on performing instant composed music, often including dance, performance, video, film, installation.