Photo: © Henk Van Rensbergen
Nikolaas Kende was born in a family of musicians in 1981. At the age of 5 he started to study piano with his parents, Heidi Hendrickx and Levente Kende. Between 1999 and 2005 he studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with prof. Jan Wijn, and at the Royal Antwerp conservatory where he also studied organ with prof. Joris Verdin. He continued his studies at the "Hochschule für Musik und Theater München" with Elisso Wirssaladze and received his "Meisterklasse-Diplom" in 2007. He received lessons and advice from artists like D.Bashkirov, A.Ciccolini, D.Alexeev, M.Perahia and Radu Lupu. At young age he started wining many competitions: the Cantabile-competition in Antwerp (1998), the international EPTA-competition for piano-duos (1999), the Axion-classics-competition in Brussels (1999), the Stefaan-de-Jonghe-competition in Aalst (2000), the Tenuto-competition in Brussels (2002). In 2002 he became laureate of the "Belgian foundation for young soloists". In 2004 he won the second prize at the YPF-competition in The Hague (the Netherlands). In 2005 he won the "Pianisten Parade"-Competition ('s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands) where he won the public prize and press prize as well. In 2006 he became laureate of the Rotary-Competition in Gent and became winner of the 57th "vriendenkrans-competition" of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, where he also obtained the press-prize and the AVRO-classic-Prize, which allowed him to record a cd. In 2007 he became laureate of the competition "young soloists", organised by "de Filharmonie" under Philippe Herreweghe. Nikolaas often gives concerts in famous halls and festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, Bulgary, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Spain. In 2009 he made a critically acclaimed debut in America, performing as a soloist with orchestra in Texas and giving recitals in California. In 2010 he made a tour amongst the 10 most important concerthalls of the Netherlands, playing recitals in halls like the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht, F.Philipshall Eindhoven. In 2011 concerts brought him to countries such as France (Festival Montpellier, Festival Menton), Spain, Romania and the Dutch Antilles. As a soloist he played concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Bartok and Rachmaninov with orchestras including the Symphonic Orchestra of Flanders, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders. Conductors were among others Koen Kessels, Ernst van Tiel, Piets Swerts, Ivo Venkov, Christo Christov, Jürgen Kussmaul, David Agnus, Etienne Siebens, Stephen Heyde and Daniele Callegari. He often plays for the radio (Klara, RTBF, AVRO, WDR, Radio Romania, France Musique) and performed for Belgian tv the first concerto of Brahms. He forms a duo with violinist Jolente De Maeyer and is part of the "Narziss und Goldmund Trio" and the "Rubens- Ensemble".
Levente Kende, assistant