The Flanders Recorder Quartet ( Tom Beets, Paul Van Loey, Bart Spanhove, Joris Van Goethem ) was founded in 1987. It has won several international chamber music competitions, including first prize in the Musica Antiqua Competition organized annually by the Flanders Festival in Bruges, Belgium.
That award turned out to be the start of an international career. Since they won it, the quartet has performed at prestigious music festivals and on tour in Europe, North America, and South America. In the spring of 1996, they toured Europe with Musica Antiqua Koln and Reinhard Goebel. In addition, they have recorded for several radio networks and record companies; in 1997 they started a long-term collaboration with the label Opus 111.
The quartet has a keen interest in contemporary music and has commissioned more than twenty works by composers including Piet Swerts, Frans Gysen, Peter Pieters, Jan Van Landeghem, Jeroen D'Hoe, Luc Brewaeys, and Frédéric Devresse. In 1995, the quartet and the Ascolta music publishing company launched the Flanders Recorder Quartet Series, consisting of compositions written by or for them.
The quartet performs on more than 150 recorders, built especially for them by some of the world's best-known recorder makers, including Bob Marvin (Canada), Adri Breukink (the Netherlands), Fred Morgan (Australia), Friedrich Von Huene (U.S.), and Coolsma (the Netherlands).
The Cultural Department of the Ministry of the Flemish Community (Belgium) supports the quartet, which has been awarded the title of Cultural Ambassadors of Flanders in 1997 and 1998.