Belgian violinist Jolente De Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende make up the De Maeyer – Kende Duo. On this program, they perform works Lera Auerbach and Ludwig van Beethoven live from Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.
One of the leading Belgian violinists, Jolente De Maeyer, has brought her virtuosity and passionate interpretations to diverse global audiences. She is recognized as an exceptionally gifted artist, reflected in the numerous awards and effusive reviews she has received for both her live performances and recordings.
Prizewinner of several international competitions in Portugal (Cardona Competition), Russia (Liana Issakadze Competition) and London (Benjamin Britten Competition), the international career of Jolente started with successful participation at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Performances with all major Belgian orchestras and concert tours in Europe and America followed. She made her debut in Florida, Vermont, California, Washington DC and Canada in 2017. In 2018 followed her debut in South-Africa with an extensive tour. Future engagements include concert tours in Europe, Canada, America, and China.
Her recordings include concerti by Saint-Saens and Vieuxtemps with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège with Christian Arming, awarded with an ‘Editors Choice’ from Diapason, and the CD ‘Kreutzer sonata’ with duo partner Nikolaas Kende, awarded with a ‘Gold Label’ from Klassiek Centraal.
After an invitation from Yehudi Menuhin when she was 14 years old, Jolente studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School near London. She continued her studies in London, Berlin, and Waterloo where she graduated in the class of Augustin Dumay in 2013.
Since 2018 Jolente is professor violin at the Conservatory of Tilburg, the Netherlands and has given masterclasses in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Texas, and California.
Nikolaas Kende has been praised for his poetic playing and honest musicality full of passion. Both as a soloist and as a chamber musician he is a highly demanded pianist on international concert stages.
Being a winner of several competitions, including the Cantabile competition, EPTA competition and Tenuto competition, his successful participation at the Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (2007) was followed by concerts in most European countries and an American debut (2009) with the 1st piano concerto of Brahms.
This debut 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, 2017 his debut in Florida, Vermont, California, Washington DC and Canada. In 2018 he made his Chinese debut with an extensive recital tour. Future projects include concert tours, both solo and in duo with Jolente De Maeyer, in Europe, Canada, North 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 was taught by 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.