Armand Coeck (°1941, Menen, Belgium) has established himself as a self-taught expert in guitar and composition.
Initially he explored the piano in his parents’ home through many hours of improvisation. At the age of 13 he received a guitar from his father, which became his favorite instrument.
His first compositions date back to 1957. In 1961 and '62 he shared the spotlight with Joaquin Rodrigo and Sainz de la Maza in the prestigious Coupe Internationale de la Guitare composition competition held in Paris. Since that time, he has been highly in demand for concerts throughout the Flanders region of Belgium, as well as in prominent cultural centres such as Brussels, Paris, and Madrid. To his credit are performances for both radio and television.
In 1961, Jan Decadt appointed Coeck as a guitar instructor at the Peter Benoit Academy of Music in Harelbeke. He remained a teacher at the academy until 1997, prior to which he earnestly performed his teaching duties with great enthusiasm and creativity. As one of the pioneers of guitar training in Flanders, he is accountable for the development and success of many guitarists performing and teaching professionally today.
Also in 1997, Prima la Musica premiered his Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra in the Coutray City Theatre with soloist Carlos Bonell on guitar. The Festival of Flanders commissioned the concerto. Thanks in part to CD and DVD recordings by performers such as Gino Herman, Jan Depreter, Simon Dinnigan, Jad Azkoul, and Hughes Kolp, Coeck's compositional work has sparked international attention.
In a decade Armand Coeck wrote a entire oeuvre for cello in collaboration with cellist Wouter Vercruysse. These works for cello solo, cello and guitar(s) are recorded by Vercruysse on the album Nightbird.