Born and brought up in Kortrijk, Frédéric D'Haene started studying music in his home town before attending the music academy in Ghent. He then enrolled at the Royal Conservatoire in Liège, where he was taught by Frederic Rzewski and Walter Zimmerman and received guidance from Henri Pousseur and the Slovene composer Vinko Globokar (1934). In 1986, he graduated with a degree in musicology from Ghent University, writing a dissertation on Webern'sVariations for Orchestra. Keen to expand his knowledge further, in 1988 he attended the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, a leading venue for avant-garde music. He was also introduced to Japanese court music (gagaku) by Tadatoshi Miyagawa. He worked as Frederic Rzewski's assistant at the Conservatoire in Liège from 1990 to 1996 and taught aesthetics at the Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst in Ghent (1999-2000) before deciding to focus entirely on creation, moving to the Netherlands where he lived as a freelance composer. He returned to Belgium in 2009, setting up the non-profit-making association De Muziekautarchie, with the objective of improving composers' socio-economic status.
He mainly writes commissioned compositions, in his developed technique of 'paradoxical coexistence' for mostly traditional formations, but he also composed work combining a gagaku orchestra with a chamber orchestra in Music with silent aitake's for example. His music has been performed by countless musicians and ensembles. They include Geoffrey Madge, Frederic Rzewski, Wibert Aerts, Daan Vandewalle, Yutaka and Saori Oya, Marianne Schroeder, Claude Coppens, Jean-Pierre Peuvion, Armand Angster, David Cohen, Wim Konink, James Wood, Champ d'Action, The BRTN Philharmonic orchestra, the L'art pour l'art Ensemble, the Danel Quartet, Q-02, the Phoenix Trio, Hermesensemble ,Musiques Nouvelles, Het Collectief, to name just a few. His varied work comprises orchestral music, chamber music, pieces for solo instrument and vocal music.
His work has been performed in many places in Belgium and abroad, such as in deSingel, many editions of the Ars Musica festival, Transitfestival, the Blackheath concert Halls, London, the Edmonton New Music festival, Gesellschaft für akustische Lebenshilfe (Kiel-Germany),Toronto Music Gallery and many others.
More recently "Fluxus –static friction" was created by het Collectief, conducted by Robin Engelen, in Tilburg ( NL) in December 2013, "Hearing from nowhere-part 3" in Geneva by the ensemble Contrechamps, conducted by Michael Wendeberg in october 2014 and "Music with silent aitake's" by the Ensemble Modern and Raigakusha, conducted by Kasper de Roo at the festival Frankfurter Positionen in January 2015.
He is actually working on a revision of " Hearing from nowhere – part 1" and is preparing an opera on texts of de Sade and Bonhoeffer, thanks to a grant form the Flemish ministry of culture.
Some fragments of text about the early compositions (up till 2000) written by Thierry Levaux
While one of the characteristics of the 1950s avant-garde was an attitude of "tabula rasa", Frédéric D'Haene believed from the outset that music could be generated from all types of material: he therefore rejects nothing from the past but puts it on an equal footing with any concept that appears of interest to him. He is not afraid of using more traditional formations, such as the string quartet or symphony orchestra, but he has also composed work combining a gagaku orchestra with a chamber orchestra in Music with silent aitake's for example. In the extensive field of his continuous exploration, his key word is pluralism: he does not want to choose one world or one language, but favours an aesthetic of coexistence. Like his vision of society, he does not want there to be barriers of any kind. This principle of coexistence leads him to combine elements which have different origins that might be thought incompatible, allowing them to retain all their specific features and expressive power. He loves paradox which is essential for him at all stages of the creative process. More specifically, he combines modality, atonality and spectral music, random and organised form, East and West, stasis and dynamism, sound mass and silence, constant and changing tempo and simplicity and complexity. Continually putting opposing concepts into perspective gives them a new dimension, broadening them without completely altering their nature.