Ariën Artists - Nikolaas Kende - English biography








Nikolaas Kende has been praised for his poetic playing and honest musicality full of passion. Both as soloist and chamber musician he is a highly demanded pianist on international concert stages.  

After winning several competitions, including the Cantabile, EPTA, Tenuto and Vriendenkrans Concertgebouw Amsterdam competitions, Nikolaas Kende began performing as soloists with all Belgian orchestras. Highlights included a tour of Brahms 2nd piano concerto with Brussels Philharmonic and Ainars Rubikis. 

Concerts throughout Europe followed in major halls and festivals such as the Festival of Flanders, Festival de Montpellier, Festival de Menton.  His American debut (Texas, 2009) with the 1st piano concerto of Brahms was well received in the press, “One could almost imagine a young Brahms at the keyboard doing precisely the same thing: more intent on communicating his piece than dazzling listeners with his performance.”  

2015 marked his solo debut in Mozambique and South Africa; followed by debuts in  Florida, Vermont, California, Washington DC and Canada in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 he made his Chinese debut with an extensive recital tour, performing in Beijing, Chengdu, Harbin and Chongqing.  

In 2018 he returned with violinist Jolente De Maeyer to Canada and America, performing amongst others at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago. His duo with Jolente De Maeyer has performed for over 15 years together and has elicited enthusisastic reviews by the press, who has remarked on their exceptional synergy and harmony. Their debut CD ‘Kreutzer sonata’ was awarded  a ‘Gold Label’ for ‘best chamber music album of 2016’ by Klassiek Centraal.   

Future projects include concert tours in Europe, Canada, North and South America, South-Africa and China.   Nikolaas studied in Antwerp with his parents, Heidi Hendrickx and Levente Kende, in Amsterdam with Jan Wijn and in Munich and Fiesole with Elisso Virsaladze. In addition he studied with such artists as Murray Perahia and Radu Lupu.  

In 2015, Nikolaas was appointed professor of piano at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. He has given masterclasses in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Texas, California and China.

Press quotes

“A most honnest musicality full of passion and melancholic lyrisism” > Pianowereld

"This was poetry in which each note was placed with care and every phrase played with musicality." >

"One could almost imagine a young Brahms at the keyboard doing precisely the same thing: more intent on communicating his piece more than dazzling listeners with his performance " > Waco Tribune

“Sensitive musician, poetic, visionary, with technical flawless skills always serving the music” > La libre belgique

"Poet in every inch of his fingers" > Le Progrès


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