On Saturday, April 1 violinist Jolente de Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende return to Blanco. These Belgian musicians were an audience favorite on their first visit and are returning to Texas by invitation of the Belgian consulate. Their new recording of the Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata for Violin and Piano was awarded the Golden Label award in June 2016. Both have been competitors and winners at major European music competitions. Their playing illustrates "hand in glove" precision and sensitive dialogue.
Since his succesful participation at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2007), concerts have taken Nikolaas Kende to important festivals and halls. Amongst others to the Netherlands, France (festival Montpellier, festival Menton, festival Vexin), Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and the Dutch Antilles. His American debut (California and Texas) in 2009 got favorable press reviews, and he followed it up with another American tour in 2013 which included a well-received concert in Blanco with Jolente de Maeyer. In 2015 he made his debut in Africa (South-Africa and Mozambique).
As a soloist he has played concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Rakhmaninov and Bartók, with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra.
Nikolaas Kende is also an avid chamber musician. Since 2003 he has formed a duo with the violinist Jolente De Maeyer and he was a co-founder of the Rubens Ensemble in 2007. He was the pianist of the Narziss und Goldmund Trio in their recording of Schubert's Piano Trio in E flat.
He has made numerous recordings for radio (the Belgian classical channel Klara, RTBF, AVRO, Radio Romania, France Musique, WDR) and television. He is professor of piano at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.
The Brussels-born De Maeyer began violin lessons at age 4 and two years later was the youngest laureate of the Jong Tenuto Competition. She moved to London at age 14 to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School and her accomplishments include winning the Charles de Bériot Competition Brussels and a busy schedule performing with orchestras across Europe. She has been a finalist for several in the Queen Elizabeth Competition. This year she was named outstanding young artist by Belgian National Radio for her recording of the Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata with Nikolaas Kende.
Top photo by Henk Van Rensbergen.
In addition to our patrons and audiences, Blanco Performing Arts' sponsors help make our excellent performances possible and bring these talented musicians to Blanco. Visit our sponsors and show them you support arts in the Hill Country.
The Uptown Blanco Ballroom is home to the Blanco Performing Arts concert series, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Blanco, Texas. Find directions and parking...
If you need a place to stay while you’re in our little burg, there are a number of options. We have hotels, numerous B&Bs, and beautiful riverside spots for those of you with RVs.
Blanco Performing Arts is incorporated as a non-profit entity, and is recognized as such under Section 501(3)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.