Meet the musicians

Saar Van Bergen

Violas - Academy
Saar Van Bergen, Viola

Born in 2001, Saar Van Bergen has been playing the viola since she was four. This passion was fostered by her teacher Wim De Cock, under whose tutelage she became a prize winner of the Lier Stage Academy. At the age of 16, she dedicated herself entirely to her instrument. Her secondary training took place at the Lemmens Institute, where Marc Tooten was her teacher. To this day, she continues to study at the Luca School of Arts on the Lemmens Campus. In 2022, she received her bachelor’s degree in viola performance with the highest honours and is currently preparing to take up studies for her master’s degree. During her studies, she participated in numerous professional productions, receiving invitations from ensembles such as the Ataneres Ensemble, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, the European Philharmonia, Papageno, the HERMESensemble and the Zomeropera Alden Biesen. She has had the opportunity to perform on international stages such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She has also appeared as soloist and principal violist with the LUCA Philharmonie and LUCA Strings. As a chamber musician, she is a regular member of the Núna Ensemble, which consists of a string quartet and a saxophone and was invited to the Klarafestival BOX in 2022. Together with five fellow students, she founded the Tínel Ensemble, which features varying instrumental combinations of strings, piano and clarinet and appears regularly on Belgian stages. Since 2020, she has been a member of the Youth Orchestra Flanders, where she was appointed principal viola in 2022. Thanks to the Orchestra Academy, she had the opportunity to play with the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra and the Belgian National Orchestra in 2021. In 2023, she was appointed principal viola of the Mahler Student Festival Orchestra. She has benefitted from coaching with violists such as Béatrice Derolez and Dmitri Tjabinin, and especially from master courses presented by the Resonances Chamber Music Academy. Her teachers have included Michael Kugel, Mikhail Zemtsov, Julia Dinerstein, the Van Kuijk Quartet, Kirill Terentiev and Alexandru Gavrilovici. Finally, the Atelier voor Altviolisten, the place which awakened her joy of playing the viola, occupies a central place in her career. She has been teaching there for several years, applying a playful, child-appropriate method of teaching children to read music. Since 2022, she has also taught groups of young students, sharing her love for her instrument and inspiring future generations of players. Since 2024, she has been a member of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Academy.