« No doubt, Pierre Fontenelle is cut from the same cloth as the greats: those who let nothing stand in their way, and never look down upon others’ talent, background, or musical perspective. Curious, generous, attentive, and brilliant, he shares his music with great detail, joyfully carried away by his passion. » (Musiq’3)
Pierre Fontenelle, cello-soloist of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège between 2019 and 2022 and Namurois of the Year 2020, is a young rising star of the Belgian classical music scene. He initially took up the cello as an autodidact in his hometown of Seattle (USA), then studied music traditionally at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, the Conservatoire de Mons and at the IMEP (Namur), earning his Masters there in 2020 where he was appointed cello Professor from September 2022 onwards.
1st Prize of the 2022 Breughel Competition, he also won the Public Prize and the Best Interpretation Prize. In October 2020, he received the 2nd Prize “Van Hecke” at the 1st BCS International Cello Competition and won the First Prize and the Feldbusch Prize at the Concours International de Violoncelle Edmond Baert (2019). From 2019 to 2022, he had the pleasure of joining the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège as cello-soloist, becoming the youngest tenured musician of the orchestra.
He has participated in various masterclasses with reputed musicians and pedagogues such as Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Jérôme Pernoo, the Danel Quartet... He currently studies with Anne Gastinel at the Académie Jaroussky in Paris (Promotion Debussy 2022-2023).
Pierre Fontenelle has performed in several prestigious venues and festivals in Belgium and abroad (Chapelle Reine Élisabeth, Philharmonie de Liège, Taipei National Concert Hall, Shanghaï Oriental Art Center, Festivals de Wallonie, le Royal Juillet Musical de Saint-Hubert…) and has been invited as a soloist by various orchestras (Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Chapelle Musicale de Tournai, Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale, Musique Royale des Guides, Opéra National de Bordeaux...).
Committed to all the various aspects of being a musician, classical or otherwise, Pierre composes and explores popular and contemporary music with his cello-accordion Duo Kiasma with accordionist Frin Wolter (1st Prize - 2017 Accordé’Opale Competition).
Pierre performs on a Nicolas-François Vuillaume cello from 1860, instrument made available by the King Baudouin Foundation thanks to the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché’s Fund's gift and managed by Strings For Talent.
Pierre joined the editorial staff of French-speaking online classical music journal “Crescendo Magazine” from 2016 to 2020, and is founder and artistic director of the Concerts des Dames at the Abbaye Notre-Dame du Vivier (Marche-les-Dames). He’s found great pleasure in reading and writing poetry and appreciates the finer things in life like beautiful socks.
@Nico Draps photography
At a Glance
Cello-Soloist – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège (2019-2022)
Professor (cello) – Institut Supérieur Royal de Musique et de Pédagogie (Namur, Belgium)
1st Prize, Public Prize, and Best Interpretation Prize - Breughel Competition (2022)
Namurois of the Year "Young Talent" 2020
2nd Prize Van Hecke at the BCS Cello Competition (2020)
Artistic Director of the Concerts des Dames at the Abbaye Notre-Dame du Vivier
1st Prize Edmond Baert and Prix Feldbusch at the International Cello Competition of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (2019)
Studied with : Anne Gastinel (currently), Han Bin Yoon, Éric Chardon, Borbala Jánitsek