Peter Merckx finished his studies at the Royal Music Conservatoire of Antwerp at an early age with Walter Boeykens. During his clarinet studies Peter was nominated on the first national competition for musicians organised by the “Social works for performers”. After that he perfected himself at the Royal music conservatoire of Brussels with Henri De Roeck.
This was followed by an active time in contemporary music. He founded the QO-2 ensemble (with numerous radio recordings) and went to Amsterdam to participate in Merce Cunningham’s “Ocean-project” after an idea by John Cage. A CD with the compilation of the work of Herman van San (with the opening performance and a press conference at La Monnaie Opera in Brussels) was a turning point in his career.
His interest in chamber music brought him in the saloon-ensemble “Grupetto” resulting in two CD’s “Titanic’s Last Waltz” and ”Marlene Dietrich, Falling in Love Again”.
It is from this point on that Peter started studying Jewish music culture with pianist Alex Roosemeyers . Their recent CD faces very skilled jazz performers. First-rate crossover!
Together with Ron de Rauw and Rembert De Smet he realised a humorous confrontation between different cultures and musical styles: from Western pop and rock to South American and Balkan music and all topped with a Spanish sauce.
Besides this there is still room for contemporary chamber music. First with the “Prometheus-ensemble”. Mauricio Kagel’s “Varieté” brought him to the “Hermes-ensemble”, where he now is solo clarinettist. In 2014 he won first price with the interpretation of ‘Schönheit’ by Karlheinz Stockhausen in Kürten.
The ‘Ergo Woodwind Comfort player’ (EWC) -his proper invention-, a second thumb rest for the clarinet is the culmination of three years of personal research and 20 years of experience as a performing clarinettist and music instructor.