Pieter-Jan De Smet

Ensembles

“Their sound is at the same time precise, incisive, sometimes, but always warm and velvety. There is a real beautiful energy of life there, just like the kindness of this quartet. And if the energy it gives off is immense, their sound is never aggressive.” – Musiq3

The Desguin Quartet is a young ambitious quartet from Belgium that is known for its versatility and often interdisciplinary approach. It originated at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, located at the ‘Desguinlei’, where, the members of the quartet met and graduated with the highest distinction. The quartet was shortly afterwards selected for the Orpheus Institute for chamber music in Ghent and is currently a member of the prestigious Pro Quartet Academy in Paris. Their quartet playing is greatly influenced by their teachers of the Alban Berg, Danel and Zemlinsky Quartet.

In 2019 they became the ‘Artist in Residence’ of the SWUK Foundation in Belgium and in 2020 they won the SUPERNOVA Classics Competition, along with the audience prize. The quartet appears at various prestigious events, including Klara Festival, Festival International de Quatuors à Cordes du Luberon, Festival van Vlaanderen, Arte Amanti Chamber Music Festival, La Nuit Européenne des Musées at Château de Compiègne, the EKHO expo in Flagey, among others. They frequently perform in renowned concert halls such as La Monnaie, Flagey and BOZAR in Brussels, deSingel concert hall in Antwerp and the Bijloke and MIRY concert hall in Ghent.

Desguin Kwartet went on tour in Belgium and France and regularly appears live on radio stations Klara and Musiq3. They’ve shared the stage with renowned artists such as the baritone and Queen Elisabeth Competition laureate Werner Van Mechelen, the Zemlinsky Quartet, pianist Florestan Bataillie and actors Stefaan Degand, Ariane Van Vliet and Vic De Wachter. As a Belgian quartet, they regularly work with contemporary Belgian composers and performed works by Luc Van Hove, Alain Craens, Raoul De Smet, Steven Prengels and Mathias Coppens, who dedicated a composition to the quartet.

They’re currently working towards their first official cd-release with Belgian chamber music written by Peter Benoit, Joseph Ryelandt & Mathias Coppens.


Projects 

In Flanders Fields
Verlaine – Poète Maudit
Tchaikovsky’s geheim

The Ryelandt Trio, formerly known as Trio Telepatico, was founded in 2009 in Bruges (Belgium) The trio quickly made a name for themselves after winning a number of first prizes, including the Vlamo Competition, the European Music Festival for Youth & the Belfius Classics Competition. Additionaly they became the youngest laureate of the Storioni Competition. Recently they won 1st prize at the Concours International Léopold Bellan in France.

Their playing is greatly influenced by renowned musicians and ensembles such as Arco Baleno Ensemble, Storioni Trio, Benjamin Glorieux, Claire Chevalier, Marcel Lequeux, Arne Deforce, Beate Hartmann, Dagmar Brauns, among others.

They’ve been invited as a soloist to play Alexander Tcherepnin’s Triple Concerto, accompanied by the Sturm und Klang Orchestra (conducted by Thomas van Haeperen) in Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels.

In 2014 their first CD was released featuring works by Frank Bridge, Edison Denisov, Paul Juon and Flemish contemporary composers Erik Desimpelaere, Piet Swerts and Marc Matthys receiving critical acclaim and earning them frequent airplay on the National Classical Radio ‘Klara’.

In 2017, the ensemble participated in the project “Message to the Population” as part of the commemoration of The Great War. Together with Kotjesvolk they performed moving music that has since been released on a double CD.

In 2021, they will release their newest album on the Etcetera Records label, featuring the complete late-romantic piano trio repertoire of Joseph Ryelandt & Joseph Callaerts sponsored by the Ryelandt Family & the Flemish Government. For the occasion, they decided to play historically informed: playing on gut strings and an Erard piano from 1898.

Recently, the renowned composer Robert Groslot wrote the work ‘La Fenice’ in their honor.

Pieter-Jan is often asked to play in freelance projects. These projects range from chamber music ensembles to orchestras. Some notable performances include orchestra performances with conductors such as Ser Simon Rattle, Timo Nuoranne, Clive Brown and Ivo Venkov.

A list of various ensembles in which Pieter-Jan was a freelancer:
AGBU String Ensemble
Antwerp Symphony Orchestra
Arte Amanti Chamber Orchestra
Ataneres Ensemble
Ensemble XXI
Flemish Radio Choir
Guildhall Philharmonic
London Symphony Orchestra
Sonoro Kwartet
Trio Impression