Back in Belgium in 1989, he formed the Paul
Rans Ensemble, or RANS for short.
Their three CDs with Flemish Christmas carols,
songs from the medieval Gruuthuse Ms and
from the Antwerp Songbook (1544)
received much acclaim from both the public and the
Their fourth CD, RANS & FLAGEL: Van
Antwerpen tot Parijs/ De la Seine à l’Escaut,
was awarded a CHOC! by the leading French music
magazine Le Monde de la Musique.
Paul Rans has also sung in many separate
projects, such as with the Dutch early music
ensemble Camerata Trajectina or with
Flemish folk bands such as Het Project with Wouter
Vandenabeele, Trio Viool or Ambrozijn
with whom he recorded the CD De Hertog Van
Brunswyck, released in 2003.
In 2005 Paul Rans, Wiet Van de Leest and
Dirk Van Esbroeck – the three original
members of RUM – reformed to sing in a
project with the girl singers of Laïs.
Sadly, Dirk Van Esbroeck had become
gravely ill and he died on 23 May 2007. His
musical friends performed in numerous tribute
concerts and the massive attendance showed how
popular Dirk had been.
In 2008 there was a Flemish-British cooperation
between Rans and Coope, Boyes &
Simpson, with Fi Fraser, Georgina Boyes and
In this meeting Flemish Christmas songs got a
touch of English colour while the British carols
wwere seasoned with some of the Burgundian Flemish
In January 2009 the latest Rans &
Flagel CD was released, Drie
oorlogstaferelen / Trois tableaux de guerre /
Three Scenes of War (Fréa Records MWCD
4061) with songs of war from three separate
periods, namely 16th century, 18th century and WW
During the tribute concerts to Dirk Van
Esbroeck, Paul Rans and his old Rum mate
Wiet Van de Leest worked with singer Marc
Hauman and guitarist Jokke Schreurs.
This encouraged them to create a new programme
together, A la Rum, featuring old Rum
repertoire besides totally new material.
Paul Rans started broadcasting for the English
language programmes of the Flemish World
Service, RVI, in 1985 and in 1993 he
started producing and presenting world music
programmes for VRT Radio3, which changed
its name into Klara.
In February 2009 he retired from his radio work,
but meanwhile he is making lutes again in Dorset,
where he lives with his English wife, the artist
And he hasn’t stopped singing and playing … -
most recently with Coope Boyes & Simpson and
Michael Morpurgo in a programme commemorating the
beginning of WW1 in Ypres and London.
You can also download a
Biography in pdf.