Collegium Vocale Gent was founded in 1970 on Philippe Herreweghe’s initiative by a group of friends studying at the University of Ghent. They were one of the first ensembles to use new ideas about Baroque performance practice in vocal music.
Their authentic, text-oriented and rhetorical approach gave the ensemble the transparent sound with which it would acquire world fame and perform at the major concert venues and music festivals of Europe, the United States, Russia, South America, Asia and Australia. Since 2017 the ensemble runs its own summer festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi in Tuscany, Italy. In recent years, Collegium Vocale Gent has grown organically into a flexible ensemble whose wide repertoire encompasses a range of different stylistic periods.
Besides Renaissance and Baroque, they are also specializing in the romantic, modern and contemporary oratorio repertoires. Collegium Vocale Gent has built up an impressive discography of more than 100 recordings, most of them with the Harmonia Mundi France and Virgin Classics labels. In 2010, Philippe Herreweghe started his own label φ (phi).