« 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, former cello-soloist of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège and Namurois of the Year 2020, is a young Belgian musician with an atypical career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician in Belgium and abroad. 1st Prize of the 2022 Breughel Competition, he also won the Audience Prize and the Prize for Best Performance. At the Edmond Baert International Cello Competition 2019, he received the 1st Prize and the Feldbusch Prize, and was awarded the 2nd Prize "Van Hecke" at the Belgium Cello Society International Competition.
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 also appeared as guest first cellist of the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.
Pierre Fontenelle has performed in several prestigious venues and festivals in Belgium and abroad (Chapelle Reine Élisabeth, la Seine Musicale, Taipei National Concert Hall, Shanghaï Oriental Art Center, Festivals de Wallonie, Wonderfeel Festival …) 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...).
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).
He initially took up the cello as an autodidact in his hometown of Seattle before studying traditionally at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg and at the IMEP (Namur). After specialising in Soviet music with Han Bin Yoon at the Mons Conservatory, he continues studying in Paris with Anne Gastinel at the Académie Jaroussky as part of the Promotion Debussy (2022-2023). He currently teaches in Namur at IMEP, his alma mater.
Pierre is founder and artistic director of the Concerts des Dames at the Abbaye Notre-Dame du Vivier (Marche-les-Dames).
Pierre plays on a Nicolas-François Vuillaume cello from 1860, made available by the King Baudouin Foundation thanks to the generosity of the Léon Courtin-Marcel Bouché Fund and the Strings for Talent Foundation.
@Nico Draps photography
At a Glance
Former Cello-Soloist – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège (2019-2022)
Professor (cello) – Institut Supérieur Royal de Musique et de Pédagogie (Namur, Belgium)
Young talent at the Académie Jaroussky (Paris), Debussy promotion 2022-2023
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