The Belgian pianist Ben Roels (°1968) studied at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and continued his education with Leon Fleischer (Master class Germany), Eliane Rodrigues (Belgium) and Lionel Bowman (South-Africa), Aldo Ciccolini (France/Paris) He obtained the “Diplôme Supérieur de piano” at the “Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot” in Paris where he studied with the French pianist and famous Liszt interpreter France Clidat.
He was prize winner in the “Concours International des Jeunes Solistes” in Lille, France, and won the “O. Van Puyvelde contest” in Ghent, Belgium in the same year. He made his concert debut with Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto and presently offers an extended concerto repertoire including Mozart, Van Beethoven, Liszt, De Greef, Tchaikovsky, Shostakowitch and Gershwin. In recitals he often plays works from “forgotten” composers such as Arthur De Greef (Belgian pianist/composer and pupil of Liszt). Liszt mainly influences Ben Roels’ repertoire. The virtuosity, sensitivity and lyric aspect of Liszt’s music fit very well with the personality of this pianist.
Ben Roels performed in Belgium (Festival of Flanders, Centre of fine Arts Brussels “Palais des Beaux Arts Henry Le Boeuf Hall, deSingel Antwerp), The Netherlands, France, Germany, the U.S.A. and South Africa. He made guest appearances for the Belgian Classical Radio “Klara”. His CD “Liszt Revisited” was recorded in South Africa and released by Senzanome in Brussels in 2006.
“Roels’ Liszt interpretations are extraordinary with an outstanding technique and an unheard deep expression…” (Lionel Bowman, pianist) “Ben Roels is undoubtedly ranked among the most talented and promising Belgian pianists of his generation…” (Alain Roeland, conductor). “Ben Roels’ playing was so intense he kept the audience quiet, a real achievement during wintertime…” (D. Clotman, journalist). “In perfect grace and transparency, never sentimental, Ben Roels gave a first-class Liszt-interpretation…” (Die Speyer Zeitung, Germany). “An amazing sound in forte passages and controlled virtuoso playing, Ben Roels gave an interpretation with fascinating tension…a maximum musical and physical performance…” (Speyerer Tagepost).