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Pieter-Jan De Smet is a Belgian cellist, emerging as 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, Goeyvaerts Stringtrio, Rembrandt Frerichs TrioFred Hersch Trio, Markus StockhausenBenjamin Glorieux, & Thomas BlondelleSince 2021, he regularly joins Le Concert Olympique, under the baton of Jan Caeyers.

Highlights of the next season include a tour through Europe and China with Desguin Kwartet and the release of 2 albums with both his chamber music ensembles. As a soloist he will appear with the Bach Cello Suites in collaboration with Theater Tieret and Anssi Karttunen & the Brahms Double Concerto  with Svenja Van Driessche later in the season. 

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 began playing the cello under guidance of Pieter Stas at the Music Academy of Bornem. After graduating at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp with France Springuel, he 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. He followed 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. Since 2023 he became a member of the strings faculty of Kunsthumaniora Brussel. 

On the Cello Biënnale of Amsterdam, Pieter-Jan met the 'Papillon' Cello of Stijn van Aerschot (2022). They've been traveling together ever since. 

"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." 

Anssi Karttunen 

"It's an honor to work with a musician with such warm and beautiful playing."

Fred Hersch

Follow me @pijadesmet

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