THE OFFICIAL PIANIST
USA - 1952
Daniel Blumenthal, an American pianist born in Germany, started his music studies in Paris at the age of 5. He continued his studies at the American University in Washington, at the University of Michigan and at the Juilliard School, where he obtained his doctorate. Later he completed his studies in London with Benjamin Kaplan. Between 1981 and 1983, he won numerous international competitions: Sydney and Leeds in 1981, Geneva and Busoni in 1982, and the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium, in 1983. He pursues a multifaceted musical career and devotes himself to the solo, concerto, chamber music and melodies repertoire. His wide repertoire includes the great classics and works unfairly neglected, such as, among many others, the Trio by Claude Debussy, of which he performed the world premiere and whose edition includes his fingerings. His abundant discography includes more than 80 compact discs. He performs regularly with world-famous artists such as Barry Tuckwell, Pierre Amoyal, José van Dam and Marie-Nicole Lemieux. He teaches piano at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels (Dutch-speaking section).
Belgium - 1968
Geert Callaert was fifteen when he entered the Lemmensinstituut of Leuven where he studied piano with Jan Vermeulen and followed a complete training, with three Higher Diplomas for Piano, Chamber Music and accompaniment, crowned by the obtaining of the Lemmens-Tinel Prize in piano, chamber music, accompaniment, orchestra conducting, music writing and musical analysis. In April 2002, the Orpheusinstituut of Ghent accepted his study project on the piano music and chamber music for piano and percussion by Stockhausen, Xenakis and Charles Wuorinen. This pianist and composer, accompanist at the Lemmensinstituut since 1990, is the holder of numerous prizes and distinctions. He is eclectic, for his repertoire goes from classical to contemporary music. He is a member of the Trio Coriolan, the HERMESensemble and the Trio de Café. He has premiered an impressive number of works and has performed in concerts in Europe, Russia and the United States. He has recorded several CDs, and one of the more recent includes the piano works by Michael Sahl and Stefan Van Puymbroeck. His compositions for percussion and piano recently appeared on CD.
Belgium - 1974
After qualifying at the Royal Music Conservatories of Liege and Brussels, where he obtained a First Prize in Piano and Percussion, he decided to devote himself exclusively to the study of piano and obtained the Higher Diploma in the class of Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden. Later, he completed his studies with great pedagogues such as Menahem Pressler, Lazar Berman, André Dumortier and Yevgenia Yarmonenko. He has won several competitions (Crédit Communal, Serge Belarey, Horlait-Dapsens.) and has given many concerts in Belgium and abroad. He has collaborated with conductors such as Keri-Lynn Wilson, Patrick Davin, Norbert Nozy, Yuri Simonov. and numerous soloists including Stephen Salters and Barbara Hendricks. He works regularly with the Chapelle des Minimes and the Brussels Choral Society. After working for some time as assistant of Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden at the Conservatory of Brussels and as accompanist at the Royal Music Conservatories of Brussels and Mons, he currently teaches Piano at the Music Academy of Woluwé-St-Pierre.
DE BOCK Michel
Belgium - 1952
Michel De Bock, Pianist and Conductor, carried out his studies at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, later he completed his studies for four years at the Tchaïkovski Conservatory of Moscow. In 1979, he was appointed Professor at the Royal Music Conservatory of Mons. He has been Head of singing at the Théâtre de la Monnaie-Opéra National from 1979 to 1982, Director of the Music Academy of Evere, from 1982 to 1987, and also worked as Kapellmeister at the Opera of Krefeld and of Mönchengladbach, from 1989 to 1993. Michel De Bock is currently accompanist in the class of Alain Crépin at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels. In 1990, he was declared Artist of the Year in Germany. Since 1981, he is guest conductor of the new Symphonic Orchestra of the RTBF, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Wiesbaden Opera.
In 1993, he was appointed Musical Director of the Opera Studio of the Royal Conservatory of Mons. Since 1996, Michel De Bock teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels as accompanist of the classes of clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and tuba, while pursuing a career as freelance conductor.
The Netherlands - 1958
Paul Hermsen, with a diploma from the Conservatory of Tilburg in piano and organ, divides his professional activities between Belgium and The Netherlands. He is, among other things, Accompanist at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven and at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels. He regularly accompanies eminent soloists during their recitals or master classes, but also candidates for competitions such as the Tenuto Competition. He regularly carries out recordings for the radio or television, especially as freelance musician, working for the Brabants Orkest of Eindhoven, I Solisti del venti, the Vlaamse Opera. He also participates actively in the world of contemporary music with recordings with the Notabene ensemble.
Belgium - 1961
Pierre Liémans received his training at the Royal Music Conservatory of Liege (1 st Prize in Music Theory), later at the Royal Music Conservatory of Mons, where he obtained Higher Diplomas in Piano, Chamber Music and Organ. As a composer, he has also received several writing prizes. He teaches Piano at the Music Academy of Quaregnon and is accompanist at the Royal Music Conservatory of Mons. As a soloist, Pierre Liémans is also called as pianist and celestist by the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, The Philharmonic Orchestra of Antwerp and the Orchestra of the Royal Music of Guides, as well as by artists of international renown (José Van Dam, Walter Boeykens, Isabelle Kabatu, Lionel Lhote, Jean-Luc Votano, Christelle Pochet, Ronald Vanspaendonck).
He is also a regular pianist in different international competitions such as the Torneo Internazionale di Musica of Rome, The Pacem in Terris Competition of Bayreuth and the International Adolphe Sax Competition of Dinant. He currently accompanies the classes of saxophone, violin and clarinet at the Royal Conservatory of Mons. In 2004, he obtained the 1 st Prize in composition with the sonata for clarinet and piano op. 22 at the Torneo Internazionale di Musica of Rome. His work A la Bonne Heure for saxophone and piano op. 26 was the compulsory piece at the Competition for Young Saxophonists (Dinant - 2005) and is included in the works to be chosen for the preliminary round of the 4 th International Adolphe Sax Competition (Dinant - 2006).
Bulgaria - 1974
Since he was very young, Peter Petrov received several honours in international competitions from 1987 to 1992 (Winner of the International Competition of Usti nad Labem in Czechoslovakia, 1 st Prize at the Chopin and Mozart competition of Sofia in Bulgaria, 2 nd Prize at the Liszt-Bartok Competition of Sofia and of Marsala in Italy, semi-finalist at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibault Competition in Paris). After obtaining his diploma in 1992 at the Music School of Sofia and, in 1996, at the Conservatory of Sofia (class of Atanas Kourteff), he later obtained the Higher Diploma at the Royal Music Conservatory of Liege (1999 - class of Juliette Poumay). He has recorded for the radio and the television in Bulgaria, Poland and Italy. He has completed his studies with Detlef Kraus (1997), Dominique Merlet (2000), Abdel Rahman El Bacha and with Avi Schönfeld in Maastricht, where he obtained a Master Degree with the highest mark. By multiplying his recitals in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and Bulgaria, Peter Petrov has also become an appreciated soloist for several orchestras.
Romania - 1954
Dana Protopopescu started her music studies at a very young age in Bucharest and completed them brilliantly at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels and at the Hochschule für Musik of Hanover under the supervision of Eduardo del Pueyo and Karl Engel. At the age of 14, she gave her first concert with orchestra. Since then, she harmoniously combines a soloist, chamber music and accompanist career. She has participated in numerous festivals and master classes and has been a guest at the Great Soloists cycles. She has performed in London, Moscow, Paris, Barcelona, Montreal, Washington and Seoul. She is the official pianist of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition since 1986, and of the International Adolphe Sax Competition, for the third time. She has recorded many CDs, including the complete works for piano by Mendelssohn and the complete set of sonatas by Beethoven for violin and piano with Liviu Prunaru. Her recordings of the Hummel and Weber concertos have been praised by critics. In 2000, she received in Bucharest the Music Critic Award.