Pieter-Jan De Smet is a Belgian cellist, proving himself to be one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. He is closely associated with the Ryelandt Trio and the Desguin Kwartet: Two award-winning ensembes with whom he has released several critically acclaimed albums under the Etcetera Records label. He regularly appears live on Klararadio, BRF, Musiq3 & France Musique and shares the stage with renowned musicians such as the Zemlinsky Quartet, the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio, Markus Stockhausen, Benjamin Glorieux, Werner Van Mechelen & Fred Hersch Trio, with whom he's currently on tour in Europe. Since 2021, he regularly joins Le Concert Olympique, under the baton of Jan Caeyers.
As a well sought-after artist, he regularly performs in prominent concert halls such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, RadioKulturHaus (Vienna), Barbican Hall (London), La Monnaie, Flagey & BOZAR (Brussels), Concertgebouw Brugge, Palau de les Artes (Valencia) and the Felicia Blumental Concerthall (Tel-Aviv). Pieter-Jan frequently gets invited to perform at prestigious festivals such as Musica Antiqua Bruges, Arte Amanti Chamber Music Festival, Festival International de Quatuors à Cordes du Luberon, Klarafestival, Festival van Vlaanderen, Jazz Middelheim, Musikcollagen Darmstadt, Leuven Jazz, B-Classic Festival, Lunalia Festival, Belgian Music Days & ISA Festival Vienna.
Pieter-Jan distinguishes himself by earning top prizes in several international competitions including Belfius Competition (1st prize), SUPERNOVA Chamber Music Competition (1st prize + audience prize), Concours International Léopold Bellan (1st prize), France International Music Competition (2nd prize), Buchet International Cello Competition (Laureate), amongst others. For his achievements he received the award for ‘Young Promising Talent’ of Sint-Niklaas. Recently he was awarded the Fuga Trofee 2022 for his commitment to Belgian repertoire by the Union of Belgian Composers.
Pieter-Jan studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp with France Springuel and continued his studies with Anssi Karttunen at the ‘Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot’ in Paris and with Ursula Smith at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. His artistic development has been supplemented by masterclasses with renowned cellists such as Gautier Capuçon, Daniël Müller-Schott, Claudio Bohorquez, Gustav Rivinius, Gavriël Lipkind, Xenia Jankovic, Jérome Pernoo, Roel Dieltiens and Pavel Gomziakov.
Pieter-Jan is currently teaching cello and chamber music in the Music Academies of Leuven, Brugge & Harelbeke.
Pieter-Jan currently plays on a cello by Ambroise de Comble, built in 1725. An instrument that he received on loan from Guy Rooryck and that was once part of the famous collection of his great-grandfather César Snoeck.
"Pieter-Jan proves himself to be a musician of rare talent. He's an exciting cellist to work with and a musician who definitely has an interesting career in front of him."
"It's an honor to work with a musician with such warm and beautiful playing."