“The complete musician, uniting at any musical moment a true knowledge of the piece, a solid intellectual grasp and an infallible instinct for the impalpable.” Maria João Pires
May 12, 2017
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, until today, 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 Julien Libeer’s views over the last years, and continue to do so.
Julien Libeer has been the guest of the Palais des Beaux-Arts and Flagey in Brussels, the Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), the Barbican Hall in London, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Other tours take him to Japan (Tokyo, Sumida Tryphony Hall), Lebanon (Beirut Chants festival), the US (Miami International Piano Festival).
He has performed with the Brussels Philharmonic, the Belgian National Orchestra, deFilharmonie, Sinfonia Varsovia and the New Japan Philharmonic among others, under conductors like Michel Tabachnik, Augustin Dumay, Serge Pehlevanian, Joshua Weilerstein, Enrique Mazzola, Christopher Warren-Green…
An accomplished chamber musician, he works on regular basis with Augustin Dumay, Camille Thomas, Frank Braley, Maria João Pires and Lorenzo Gatto, with whom he performs the complete Beethoven violin sonatas in Belgium and abroad over the next few seasons.
Julien Libeer has studied piano with Daniel Blumenthal (Royal Conservatory of Brussels), Jean Fassina (Paris), and is an associate artist of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where he also specialized in chamber music with the members of the Artemis Quartet. Furthermore, he has received the advice of Dmitry Bashkirov, Alfred Brendel, Abdel Rahman El Bacha and Gerhard Schulz (Alban Berg Quartet).
Although he consciously avoided engaging in any kind of competition, has received such honorary prizes as the Juventus award (most promising young European soloist) in 2008, and was elected Young Musician of the Year by the Belgian Music Press Association in 2010. The Klara award 2013 was attributed to him by the audience of the national radio for classical music. Much appreciated for his eloquence, Julien Libeer is a regular guest of media at home and abroad. His work has been subject of a TV documentary (“Technique doesn’t exist”, 2013), also available on YouTube.
Based in Brussels, he spends most of his free time reading, swimming or enjoying a good series, and is actively engaged in a number of social projects, all rooted in the idea that music, far beyond its esthetic value, can be a force of change for anyone ready to listen.