A harpsichordist and conductor, Korneel Bernolet (b.1989) has been exploring the international music scenes since the age of 19. He has been described by the press to be "an incredibly accomplished performer", "with unwavering keyboard mastery in performance" and "one of Europe's top harpsichord specialists" as a recitalist. Sigiswald Kuijken calls him "an extremely fluent player gifted with indefatigable concentration — a natural talent". His musicianship is characterized by the combination of a refined and expressive technique (both at the harpsichord and while conducting) with the constant quest to an ideal balance between historical information and the contemporary concert practice.
As a harpsichordist, he studied with Paul Clement, Ewald Demeyere (where he received his Masters degree summa cum laude on the original 1747 Dulcken-harpsichord), Gustav Leonhardt, Jesper Bøje Christensen and Christophe Rousset. He performes regularly with ensembles such as Les Talens Lyriques (Rousset), La Petite Bande (Kuijken), Scherzi Musicali (Achten), B'Rock and cantoLX (Agsteribbe), BachPlus (Naessens), Transport Public (Baeté) and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg. Korneel has been a guest as historical keyboard player in the Benelux countries, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and South-Korea.
He has made numerous CD recordings for the labels Accent, Ricercar, Musique en Wallonie, Alpha, Et'cetera and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Musica Ficta with some of the most renowned early music ensembles. He has also participated in several radio and television recordings in Belgium and beyond. His début solo CD with Pièces de clavecin (1759) by Claude Balbastre for the label Aliud was highly praised in the international press, and was nominated by the Flemish classical broadcast Klara as one of the three best Flemish CD productions of 2013.
At a mere 13 years of age, Korneel gained his first experience as a promising young conductor and was accepted five years later to the highest level of the international Kurt Thomas Course with Daan Admiraal and Georg Grün. He received his second Masters degree with critical acclaim at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, where he studied with Geert Hendrix and Luc Anthonis. He was assistant conductor for Ewald Demeyere, Frank Agsteribbe and Bart Van Reyn with ensembles such as the Conservatory Orchestra of Antwerp, B'Rock, cantoLX & Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and Le Concert d'Anvers. For 2014-2015 Korneel is looking forward to assisting Christophe Rousset in La Monnaie — Brussels (Handel) and the Opéra National de Lorraine — Nancy (Lully). Opera, dance and concert projects have brought him from Benelux to collaborations in France and Macedonia.
He is artistic director of choir Vagantes Morborum — Bruges and his own Ensemble Apotheosis, a period instrument group that performs chamber music, vocal and orchestral repertoire from the 17th century to the 20th century.
Korneel is professor at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, teaching practical harmony in the piano, music theory and conducting divisions, supporting the artistic research team and giving baroque coaching for singers. He also teaches harpsichord and basso continuo at the International Opera Academy (formerly Opera Studio) of Ghent and at the music academy in Aalst. As a recording engineer and/or editor, he has worked so far for a.o. Et'cetera, Ramée and Apotheosis Records.
He has been supported by vzw SWUK-Vlaanderen, Belfius-bank en vzw ARTos amongst others. He plays top instruments by Augusto Bonza (Boston Hemsch 1736) and Alan Gotto (London Courtauld anon.).