Artistic direction

Since its foundation in 1998, Ad van Unen has been conductor and artistic director of Qui Vive. 

Since 2013, parts of the concerts have been conducted by other conductors.


Ad van Unen started his musical career at the age of seven as a boy soprano with the famous Sacrament choir in Breda. He studied at the Pedagogische Akademie in Breda, at the Brabant Conservatory in Tilburg (music teacher B) and passed the state exam for Organ.


He was a music teacher at the Stanislas College in Delft for almost forty years, where he also conducted the school choir and orchestra for thirty years. For over twenty years Ad has been conductor of Mixed Choir Cantabile Breda, laureate of the Netherlands Choir Festival 2010. He conducted Dutch premieres of works by Richard Blackford, Richard Einhorn, Daan Manneke and Mikis Theodorakis, among others.


Ad van Unen is (co) founder and artistic director of Qui Vive and of the Personare foundation. Concert tours were undertaken with these companies to Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Greece and China.


In early 2010, he was appointed Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau, a royal decoration.


In recent years Ad has been active in studium55, the workshop for music and education he founded on the Mastdreef in Effen (near Breda).


Others characterize him:


“Modest but resolute and someone who knows how to limit his passion to his own square meter and wants to do justice to every performer”
(a listener)


“Ad is a very enthusiastic conductor whom I have known for many years. His enthusiasm, expertise, friendliness and integrity towards music have made me enjoy playing with him for twenty years now. I hope that there will be many more years to come.”
(a singing soloist)