Tom Pauwels


General director, guitarist

Tom Pauwels (Bornem, Belgium, 1974) studied classical guitar in Brussels, Köln and Münster with Albert Sundermann, Hubert Käppel and Reinbert Evers respectively.
In 1995, during his studies at the Brussels Conservatory, he was involved in the founding of Black Jackets Company, a Brussels collective of composers and performers. Ever since these early experiments he has been active in the field of contemporary music, both on classical and electric guitar. From 1999 until 2001 he was a regular member of Champ D’Action, the Antwerp-based ensemble for experimental music. Since 2002 he has worked as a co-artistic leader for the new music ensemble ICTUS (Brussels). He has recorded works by Craenen, Lachenmann, Shlomowitz, Van Eycken, Guiraud and for Cyprès (Ictus) works by Oehring, Harada, Romitelli and Aperghis. More recently he released work by Pierluigi Billone on Kaïros (with guitarist Yaron Deutsch) and works by Trapani and Polansky (with Ictus and Liesa Van der Aa) on Sub Rosa.

After a five year research project on new music for guitar he became a ‘Laureate of the Orpheus Institute’ with the thesis ‘De Echo van ‘t Saluut’. Between 2002 and 2017 he has been in charge of teaching new music for guitar at the Conservatory of Gent where he has developed an advanced master program with emphasis on contemporary chamber music in collaboration with the Spectra ensemble and Ictus. Today he is part of the Music Faculty of P.A.R.T.S (School for contemporary dance in Brussels).

His broad interest in performance has led to collaborations with choreographers as Xavier Le Roy (see ‘Mouvements für Lachenmann), Andros Zins-Browne (The Funerals) and Maud Le Pladec (see ‘Professor’, 'Poetry' 'Concrete' and 'counting stars with you').

Sinds maart 2023 is hij algemeen directeur van het Ictus Ensemble.

Tom Pauwels (Bornem, België 1974) studeerde klassieke gitaar in Brussel, Keulen en Münster bij respectievelijk Albert Sundermann, Hubert Käppel en Reinbert Evers.

In 1995, nog tijdens zijn studies aan het Brusselse Conservatorium, stond hij samen met vier componisten en vijf uitvoerders aan de wieg van Black Jackets Company. Sindsdien was hij ononderbroken actief in het uitvoeren van nieuwe muziek, zowel op klassieke als elektrische gitaar. Zo was hij van 1999 tot 2001 vast verbonden met Champ D'Action, het Antwerpse ensemble voor experimentele muziek. Sinds 2002 werkt hij als co-artistiek adviseur voor het Ictus ensemble (Brussel). Hij nam solo-en ensemblewerk op van Craenen, Lachenmann, Shlomowitz, Van Eycken en voor het Cyprès label (Ictus) werk van Oehring, Harada, Romitelli en Aperghis. Meer recent bracht hij werk uit van Pierluigi Billone op Kaïros (met gitarist Yaron Deutsch) en werk van Trapani en Polansky (met Ictus en Liesa Van der Aa) op Sub Rosa.

In januari 2004 werd hij, na een vijf-jarige onderzoeksproject, laureaat van het Orpheus instituut met de scriptie 'De Echo van 't Saluut' (promotor Jan Michiels). Tussen 2002 en 2017 doceerde hij nieuwe muziek voor gitaar aan het Conservatorium van Gent, waar hij een master na master programme ontwikkelde met de nadruk op hedendaagse kamermuziek in samenwerking met Ictus. Vandaag maakt hij deel uit van de opleidingscommissie van P.A.R.T.S (School voor hedendaagse dans in Brussel).

Zijn brede interesse in performance heeft geleid tot voorstellingen met choreografen als Xavier Le Roy (zie ‘Mouvements für Lachenmann), Maud Le Pladec (zie ‘Professor’, 'Poetry', Concrete en 'counting stars with you'. 'Holding Present' werd gecreëerd met choreografe Ula Sickle in 2023 in Brugge en Parijs.

Tom Pauwels (Bornem, Belgique 1974) a étudié la guitare avec Dirk De Hertogh à l'académie de Bornem, puis avec Albert Sunderman au Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, où il obtient son Master Degree de guitare classique avec excellence. Dans le cadre du programme Socrate, il se perfectionne pendant un an à la Musikhochschule de Cologne avec Hubert Käppel, puis à la Musikhochschule de Munster avec Reinbert Evers.
Il rejoint en 1995 le 'Black Jackets Company', un collectif expérimental de musique contemporaine composé de quatre compositeurs et de cinq interprètes. Il n'a depuis lors pas cessé de pratiquer la musique contemporaine, aussi bien à la guitare classique qu'à la guitare électrique. Une thèse au sujet du répertoire contemporain pour guitare lui vaut d'être lauréat de l'Institut Orpheus, avec Jan michiels en directeur de thèse.
De 1999 à 2001 il collabore à Champ D'Action, ensemble expérimental anversois ; de 2002 à aujourd'hui, il est co-responsable artistique d'Ictus ; en free lance, il collabore avec le collectif belgo-anglais Plus Minus.
Il enseigne la guitare au Conservatoire Royal de Gand (Belgique) depuis 2000. Aujourd'hui, il y enseigne exclusivement la musique contemporaine.
Son intérêt pour les arts de la scène l'ont mené à collaborer avec les chorégraphes Xavier Le Roy ("Mouvements für Lachenmann"), Maud Le Pladec (‘Professor’ et 'Poetry') et Andros Zins-Browne (The Funerals)

Projects tagged with [Tom Pauwels]

Sound & Body

Six Ictus Fellows have decided to take up the challenge of giving a concert without musical instruments.

2 articles

This Is Not A Pop Song (II)

Edition II : Fafchamps, Reiter, Aperghis, Bauer/Peck, Schubert, De La Fuente

2 events & 1 article

The Funerals

PARTS & GAME - The Funerals

2 events

Liquid Room V (Subtilior)

A Liquid Room on 4 stages with guest performers of medieval music, and two premieres by Yeznikian and Guiraud

1 event, 3 articles & 1 audiofragment

Michael Levinas : La Métamorphose (opera)

La Métamorphose, opera by Michaël Levinas, based on Franz Kafka, preceded by Je, Tu, Il, a prologue from Valère Novarina

4 articles & 1 audiofragment

ORFEO 14 (Helmut Oehring)

Helmut Oehring, after C. Monteverdi and J. Conrad, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the reopening of the Opera de Lille

1 event

CERCLES (in San Fedele, Milano)

Music & Video in Centro Culturale San Fedele, Milano

1 event


a cantata written by Oscar Bianchi for vocal ensemble, instrumental ensemble, 3 soloists and electronics

2 articles & 1 audiofragment


François Sarhan's pop evening

3 articles & 1 audiofragment

Avis de Tempête (Aperghis | Szendy, 2004)

Music and direction : Georges Aperghis. Libretto : Aperghis / Szendy after Melville & ...

1 article & 1 audiofragment

Riccardo Nova : Drones (2001)

Carnatic rhythms and electric orkestra

1 audiofragment

Waits | Weill

T. Waits : songs from The Black Rider & Frank’s Wild Years | K. Weill : songs from Mahagonny, Dreigroschen Opera, Lady in the Dark

3 articles


A music theatre performance on three platforms, by François Sarhan

1 article

Saint John ( Liquid Room 433, for John Cage)

4 hours and 33 seconds

2 articles

Liquid Room I

Contemporary music, but a way of listening to it as though at a rock festival or an electronic improvisation night, on 4 stages.

Liquid Room II

12 muzikanten spelen meer dan 15 composities op 5 verschillende podia in één ruimte en dat alles non-stop en op één avond.

Liquid Room III : Darmstadt 2012

A seamless evening on three stages, related to the past and present of the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik of Darmstadt

1 article

This is Not a Pop Song (I), 2012

Premiere van een performance project van Ictus rond een ‘band’-bezetting.

1 article

A History of Synchronicity (Liquid Room IV)

Ballet Mekanique (for all audiences)

Do it yourself !

5 events & 1 article

Les Zébrides

Happy day in Opéra de Lille

1 event

American Lament (studio version) | Pauwels & Van der Aa

Electric duet

9 events & 1 article

Concrete [Maud Le Pladec | Michael Gordon]

Music, dance, light

9 events & 1 audiofragment

American Lament (Ensemble Version)

Chamber and ensemble music

2 events, 1 article & 1 audiofragment


A Musical

5 events

Focus on Eva Reiter

Open Music, Graz (Austria)

1 event

Ghost Notes

For young audience

3 events

Sound & Vision (Liquid Room VII)

Music and visual performances

4 events, 2 articles & 2 audiofragments

Zwarter dan Zwart | Plus Noir Que Noir | Darker than black

Between contemporary, Baroque and Renaissance repertoires

14 events

Donaueschingen : 4 premieres

Martin Schüttler, Hanna Eimermacher, Francesca Verunelli, James Saunders

1 event & 1 audiofragment

Short Is The Night (Saint Johns' Eve)


1 event

Liquid Room VIII : PHRASES

Sound poetry, spoken word, modal music and a touch of animal virtuosity.

1 event & 1 audiofragment


Chamber music

1 event

A Rainbow in curved air


Binaural music theater with headphones

6 events & 1 article


For young audience.

17 events

Pierluigi Billone : OM.ON

Electric guitars duet

2 events & 1 audiofragment

HAM SESSION (in Ghent)

Electric and vocal chamber music

1 event

Darker than Black [extended]

Multi-repertoires chamber music, from Renaissance to contemporary

2 events

Liquid Room IX: "My Greatest Hits"

Musica Festival 2019 : opening concert on 4 stages

1 event & 1 article

Nerone's LYra

Music theater

2 events

[With Sophie Whettnall] La banquise, la forêt et les étoiles

Nocturne concert on the site of the Whettnall's exhibition

1 event

the Lichtenberg Figures (new version 2020)

Electric chamber music

7 events & 1 audiofragment



2 events & 1 audiofragment

Eupepsia Dyspepsia,


8 events

O Sentimental Machine

Chamber music and Kentridge's films

3 events, 1 article & 1 audiofragment


The Fluxus movement blasted open artistic boundaries and was one of the originators of happenings and performance art.

2 events

Holding Present [Ula Sickle]

Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Marina Delicado, Marie Goudot, Ruben Martinez Orio, Michael Schmid, Mohamed Toukabri, Tom Pauwels & Ula Sickle

7 events & 1 article

The Lichtenberg Figures [Binaural version in Herrenhausen]

Binaural chamber music

1 event

International Young Composers Academy in Ticino, 2021

directed by Oscar Bianchi

1 event & 1 audiofragment

The Sonic Assistance Agency [concert for teens]

2 events

First Memory [Noé Soulier]

Soulier & Naegelen

1 event

Royaumont ‘Voix Nouvelles’ Academy 2022

Academy for composers, with Frédéric Durieux, Clemens Gadenstätter, Dmitri Kourliandski, Johanna Vargas, Marie Ythier

2 events

Nevin Aladag: Music Rooms


1 event

PREY [Kris Verdonck & Annelies Van Parys]

Kris Verdonck, Annelies Van Parys, Katelijne Damen, Anna Clare-Hauf, Mooni Van Tichel

2 events

Professor Bad Trip [revival 2023]

Fausto Romitelli in Venice

2 events & 1 article


An opera by Simon Steen-Andersen

2 events & 1 article

Belgian Music Days

Jung, Emmery, Verlaak, Slinckx

1 event & 1 article

Watch & listen to [Tom Pauwels]

Fausto Romitelli : Professor Bad Trip

“Like a Sonic Youth version of Bach” — (De Standaard, Maarten Beirens)

Helmut Oehring | Iris Ter Schiphorst : Prae Senz

Oehring/Ter Schiphorst : Prae Senz, Ballet Blanc II

PROFESSOR (Maud Le Pladec / Fausto Romitelli _ with live music)

Maud Le Placec & Ictus in Marseille, May 2012. Festival Les Musiques.

1 soundcloud track
1 video

Georges Aperghis : Avis de Tempête [remastering]

Full version (2005) remastered in 2019

1 soundcloud track

François Sarhan : L'Nfer, un petit détail

3 excerpts from "L'Nfer, un petit détail" (CD "Pop Up", MFA 2012)

1 video

Michael Levinas: La Métamorphose

Michaël Levinas, after Franz Kafka. AEON 2012.

2 videos

Romitelli : An Index of Metals (CD)

Fausto Romitelli / Paolo Pachini : An index of metals (2003) Cyprès CD, 2006

12 videos

Eva Reiter : the Lichtenberg Figures (reloaded)

After Ben Lerner | Music by Eva Reiter

1 soundcloud track

Liesa Van der Aa & Tom Pauwels

American Lament (Studio Version) as premiered in La Muse en Circuit, Paris

1 video

Fredy Vallejos : Cercles 2

Fredy Vallejos, from the multimedia performance CERCLES, San Fedele Center, Milano

1 soundcloud track

Liquid Room VII: Sound & Vision (20' clip)

Liquid Room. Kaaitheater, April 2017. Duration: 20'

1 video


for electric guitar, 2017

1 video

Liquid Room VIII: Phrases (teaser)

Humans, animals & cyborgs.

1 video

Darker Than Black

Between contemporary and Elisabethan repertoires. Eva Reiter, Tom Pauwels, Theresa Dlouhy.

1 soundcloud track

Pierluigi Billone : MO.ON

for two guitars

1 video

Blogposts tagged with [Tom Pauwels]