Julien Libeer

Born in 1987 near Brussels, Belgium, Julien Libeer’s earliest musical memory was the famous documentary on the recording of West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. The piano, which he took up at age six, quickly became the faithful companion for expressing a love of music that thrives as much on opera, orchestra, and chamber music as on the piano repertoire.

For five decisive years, French-Polish pedagogue Jean Fassina was the patient, demanding, wise teacher that any aspiring musician should have the chance to encounter. This experience was followed by the equally intense collaboration with Maria João Pires at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, whose advice and support strongly influenced Libeer’s views over the last few years. He has also studied with Daniel Blumenthal at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and received the advice of Dmitri Bashkirov, Alfred Brendel, Nelson Delle Vigne-Fabbri, Jura Margulis and Gerhard Schulz (from Alban Berg Quartet).

Libeer has performed at the Barbican Hall (London), Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg) etc, and is a regular guest of the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels) and Concertgebouw (Amsterdam). Other tours have taken him to Japan, Lebanon, Turkey and the US, and he is an Artist in Residence at the Flagey in Brussels.

Libeer has performed with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Brussels Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia and New Japan Philharmonic, under conductors including Trevor Pinnock, Jun Märkl, Michel Tabachnik, Augustin Dumay, Hervé Niquet, Joshua Weilerstein and Enrique Mazzola. His dedication to the works of Dinu Lipatti has resulted in warm collaborations with the Romanian National Radio Orchestra and others.

An accomplished chamber musician, Libeer works on a regular basis with Augustin Dumay, Camille Thomas, Frank Braley, Maria João Pires and Lorenzo Gatto, with whom he has performed the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas over several seasons at venues including Wigmore Hall, the Louvre and Concertgebouw. He is an Associate Artist of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where he has specialised in chamber music with the members of the Artemis Quartet.

Highlights of recent seasons included invitations to De Doelen (Rotterdam), the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Flagey, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Charleroi, Théâtre des Abbesses (Paris) and Steinway International Concert Series (Cardiff), as well as being a guest at the Enescu, Beirut Chants and Miami International Piano festivals. Other highlights included the completion of Libeer’s complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas recording with Lorenzo Gatto on Alpha Classics, which won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année 2016, and receiving the ECHO Klassik Award in 2017 for his album with cellist Camille Thomas. Libeer has then moved on to sign with harmonia mundi, releasing the adventurous Bach–Bartók album in 2020, followed in 2022 by J. S. Bach & Beyond: A Well-Tempered Conversation, a conceptual take on Bach’s iconic The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Beyond concertising, Libeer is driven to initiate or collaborate in projects which are rooted in the idea that music, far beyond its aesthetic value, can be a force of change for anyone willing to listen. As the Artistic Director of the Singing Molenbeek project, he supervises high level choir rehearsals in the primary schools of a Brussels suburb famous for all kinds of wrong reasons. It is his hope that introducing these children to music, with all its demands and rewards, will help them grow personally and socially.

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