Since being a laureate in the Brussels Queen Elizabeth Competition 1991 Jan Michiels has been known for his very personal and multi-layered approach to the piano repertoire, combining old and new in always changing perspectives.
Numerous recordings testify his activity – to quote but a few, ‘Lost in Venice with Prometheus’, ‘The War of the Romantics’ or ‘Slavic Soul’ (all published by Fuga Libera) contain music from Bach till today seen from the position of a performer composing his programs through a continuous dialogue with living music history. Jan Michiels worked indeed closely with composers such as a.o. G.Kurtág, H.Holliger, H.Lachenmann, K.Goeyvaerts, K.Huber, R.Groslot and K.Defoort. One of his main inspiration sources is Luigi Nono, who stood at the centre of his doctorate in the Arts ‘Teatro dell’Ascolto’ (2011).
He regularly performs in prestigious venues all over Europe and Asia. Apart from the ‘ritual recitals’ mentioned below he realized several complete cycles such as all Beethoven Sonatas, all works from the 2nd Viennese School, all Debussy, all Bartok, all Brahms (piano solo and chamber music with piano).
As a chamber musician he worked with numerous soloists and ensembles – with Inge Spinette he forms the piano duo YingYang. He worked with conductors such as D.Angus, S.Asbury, S.Baudo, S.Blunier, A.Boreyko, S.Edwards, P.Eötvös, P.Herreweghe, H.Holliger, R.Groslot, G.Guerrero, O.Kamu, J.Latham-Koenig, J.Märkl, I.Meylemans, Y.Nézet-Séguin, K.Ono, J.Phillips, L.Pfaff, A.Rahbari, P.Rundl, E.Siebens, M.Soustrot, D.Stern, M.Tabachnik, A.Tamayo, L.Zagrosek and H.Zender with orchestras such as a.o. Brussels Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Berliner Symphoniker, Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Ensemble Modern, Prometheus Ensemble, Champ d’Action, Tampere Symphony Orchestra, Solisti del Vento, Ensemble Recherche, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Besides of that he has been an active collaborator with choreographers such as A.T.De Keersmaeker, Sen Hea Ha and V.Dunoyer.
He studied with A.Matthys (Brussels) and H.Leygraf (Berlin).
Jan Michiels is currently Piano Professor at the Brussel Royal Conservatory.
He also gives numerous masterclasses in a.o. Hamburg, Murcia, Szombathely, London, Strasbourg, Montepulciano and Lisbon.