Inge Spinette and Jan Michiels have been playing piano duets since 1988 and have gradually built up a repertoire ranging from Mozart's sonatas to the latest contemporary works: from four-handed performances on the Tangentenfl¸gel to two electronically transformed pianos in Stochausen's 'Mantra'. Between those two extremes there are so many gems for a 'miniature orchestra' of four hands on one or two keyboards. Karel Goeyvaerts, among others, very much liked their almost romantic interpretation of his serial Sonata for two pianos. György and Márta Kurtág were also very delighted by their playing during a workshop in the Orpheusinstituut (Ghent). They have recorded works by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Bartók (the Sonata for two pianos and percussion with Gert François and Bart Quartier), Goeyvaerts and Kurtág.
A piano duo as a bridge between very divergent styles.
Inge Spinette has been rehearsal pianist at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie since 1992, first under Antonio Pappano, and since 2003 under Kazushi Ono.This has given her the opportunity to work with singers of international reputation and to play at concerts, notably during the Rencontres Musicales.
She is also in charge of lessons in melody accompaniment at the Flemish Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where she obtained her superior Diploma of piano. She underwent a specialisation at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, essentially in melody and opera accompaniment. In parallel, she followed masterclasses with Graham Johnson, Martin Isepp, Dalton Baldwin, Roger Vignoles and Helmut Deutsch.
She herself accompanied masterclasses of Lucienne Van Deyck, Vera Rosza, Grace Bumbry, Tom Krause, Andreas Scholl, Raina Kabaivanska, Suzanne Eken, Sarah Walker, Sir Donald McIntyre, Gérard Souzay, Stuart Burrows and Udo Reinemann. Inge Spinette regularly plays with singers and in chamber music concerts, in Belgium and abroad. She s been heard at the Flanders Festival, at the Festival de Wallonie, at deSingel, November Music, transit, Flagey and Klara, for the RTBF and also on foreign radios.
She also collaborated on the Mozart/concertaria s production of Rosas, a dance company, for the pianoforte parts.
Her discography includes several recordings of four-hand piano works of Mozart (on a Walter pianoforte), of Shubert (on a Graft pianoforte), of Debussy (on a Erard), of Brahms (on a Bösendorfer), of Kurtág and of Goeyvaerts, as well as Sonata for two Pianos and Percussion of Bartók with pianist Jan Michiels. Her close collaboration with baritone Jan Vandercrabben was rewarded by a Grand Prix du Disque Lyrique 2001 in recognition of their recording of melodies by Debussy, Fauré and Duparc. A CD with Goethe Lieder by Hugo Wolf with tenor Yves Saelens was published at Eufoda in 2004, followed this year by a CD of melodies by Gabriel Fauré with baritone Jan Vandercrabben. In June 2005, she had the honour of accompanying José van Dam during a concert at la Monnaie.In 2006 a second CD with Jan Vandercrabben appeared with Fuga Libera and recently a CD with Yves Saelens with Romances of P.Tosti. In 2008-2009 she’ll accompany a serie of recitals with the soprano Hendrickje Van Kerkhove, who is elected as “Rising Star”, all through Europe. (Concertgebouw-Amsterdam, Bozar-Brussels, Musikverhein-Wien, Madrid, Athens, …)
Jan Michiels(°1966) studied with Abel Matthys at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. From 1988 to 1993 he studied at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin under the direction of Hans Leygraf - he was awarded an exceptional distinction for his interpretations of Bartók's Second concerto for piano and Ligeti's Etudes. He was Tenuto-laureate in 1988 ; in 1989 he won the international E.Durlet competition. In 1991 he was laureate of the international Queen Elizabeth Competition. In 1992 he was awarded the JeM/ Cera prize for musicians and in 1996 he was signed up as festival star of the Flanders Festival. He is also laureate of the 'Gouden Vleugels/KBC Muziekprijs' 2006.
Jan Michiels is currently active as piano professor in the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, where he also led the class of contemporary music for eight years. He conducted masterclasses in London, Murcia, Hamburg, Oslo, Montepulciano, Szombathely (Bartokfestival). He is fellow in the 'Platform' (VUB-KCB/The Brussels Model) and obtained in 2011 a doctorate in the arts (with greatest distinction) by performing a 'teatro dell'ascolto', inspired by the 'New Prometheus' of Luigi Nono. He regularly performs as a soloist or with chamber music ensembles (a.o. the Piano Quartet "Tetra Lyre" and a piano duo with Inge Spinette) in several musical centres in Europe and Asia, with conductors such as Angus, Asbury, Baudo, Boreycko, Edwards, Eötvös, Guerrero, Meylemans, Nézet-Séguin, Ono, Pfaff, Rahbari, Rundel, Soustrot, Stern, Tabachnik, Tamayo, Zagrosek, Zender - but also with dance-productions of Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker, Vincent Dunoyer and Sen Hea Ha. His repertoire reaches from Bach to today. Apart from his many radio recordings, he also recorded cd's with works from a.o. Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Busoni, Debussy, Dvorák, Janácek, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Ligeti, Kurtág and Goeyvaerts (these three last composers appreciated very much his interpretations). The cd 'Via Crucis' - a Liszt-portrait (Eufoda) - received a Caeciliaprize in 2002. He realized different complete cycles: all Beethoven sonatas, all pianoworks of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg and the complete chamber music with piano of Johannes Brahms.