About us

Choir and Orchestra 

The Haags Barokgezelschap or HBG is a project choir and orchestra based in the Nieuwe Badkapel in Scheveningen. Its artistic leader and conductor is Gilles Michels. 


The HBG was founded in 1985 by Jaap Hillen and consists of enthusiastic and experienced amateur musicians. We aim at performing works for choir and orchestra from the baroque period, especially those by Johan Sebastian Bach. 


Six times a year we participate in cantata-services in the Nieuwe Badkapel. 

Five of them are also performed in the Dorpskerk in Wassenaar. 

Towards Easter we perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion or St John Passion. 

In Christmas time works like the Weihnachts Oratorium by Bach or Haendel's Messiah are on the program. 


In our Concert archives you will also find works from different musical periods performed by the HBG, like “Ein Deutsches Requiem” by J. Brahms. 

In various cities in the Netherlands as well as abroad, audiences have been able to meet with the HBG.

Artistic leader 

Gilles Michels (1961) switched from the education for building violins to Teaching Music B at het Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. After graduating in 1988 he started – often encouraged to do so – studying Choir Conducting with Barend Schuurman at the Conservatory in Rotterdam and graduated in 1992. In close contact with the founder of the HBG, Jaap Hillen, and at his request, Gilles took over conducting the ensemble in 2008. Gilles cherishes the bond he has with many, as many keep participating time and again.


He really appreciates the dedication of singers and instrumentalists who make sure they arrive early for the rehearsals. 


Gilles earned his merits in many ways. As a teacher and conductor he worked many years at the Choir school St Bavo in Haarlem, he conducted his 50th St Matthew Passion in 2019 and was a teacher for many years at the Kurt Thomas course. Also he used to be in the jury and was president at the Dutch Choral Festival.


As he listens to a lot of classical music for his profession, in his free time Gilles loves to listen to old jazz and he likes to follow The Wolf Pack. 


Being responsible in leading a group of singers and instrumentalists gives 


him a lot of energy. The notion to produce something quite special with one another is essential for Gilles. The non-baroque sidestep to “Ein Deutsches Requiem” by Johannes Brahms was a great pleasure for all involved. When asked: Gilles would love to perform for instance Missa Solemnis by Beethoven or “A child of our time” by Tippett. 


Gilles Michels is, apart from conducting the HBG, also conducting the Utrecht Student Choir and Orchestra, the church choir of the Nieuwe Badkapel Scheveningen, Collegium Musicum Trajectum and since 2019 the Student choir Alphons Diepenbrock in Nijmegen.