Jozef De Beenhouwer

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Jozef De Beenhouwer
Jozef De Beenhouwer
Background information
Born (1948-03-26) March 26, 1948 (age 70)
Brasschaat, Belgium

Jozef De Beenhouwer (born Brasschaat, Belgium, March 26, 1948) is a Belgian (Flemish) pianist, music teacher and musicologist.


His first teacher, with whom he started at the age of five, was his paternal grandfather. Even as a child and adolescent, he became acquainted with a vast repertoire, and developed a special preference for music by Robert Schumann. In 1964 he began studying with Lode Backx, at first privately; later, after graduating from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven as a pharmacist (1970), at the Queen Elisabeth College of Music at Waterloo, from which he graduated in 1974, and at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, which granted him the “Hoger Diploma”, its highest degree, summa cum laude in 1975. Another major influence on Jozef De Beenhouwer was David Kimball, with whom he took private lessons in Florence between 1991 and 1998.

As a soloist, both in works for piano solo and in works with orchestra, he has played concerts and made radio and television recordings in many European countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, in South-Korea and in the United States. He has accompanied singers like Ria Bollen, Nina Stemme, Robert Holl and Werner Van Mechelen. As a chamber musician he has played with Belgian musicians like the clarinetist Walter Boeykens, the pianist Daniel Blumenthal, the violinist Guido Deneve, the violist Leo Deneve, the cellist Edmond Baeyens, the Spiegel Quartet, as well as international partners like the violinists Ning Kam and Alexander Kramarov, the violist Hartmut Lindemann, the cellist Marien van Staalen and the Panocha Quartet. With Kees Hülsmann and Marien van Staalen he forms the Robert Schumann Trio.

For ten years (1986–1996) Jozef De Beenhouwer was an official accompanist at the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition for violin and singing.

He is a regular guest of the Brahms Festival at Mürzzuschlag, Austria.

Jozef De Beenhouwer’s recordings include works by Johannes Brahms, Hans Pfitzner, Franz Schubert, and by the German romantic composer Ludwig Schuncke, whose G minor sonata he was the first to perform. But his international reputation rests mainly on his Schumann expertise. Basing himself on Robert Schumann’s autograph, whose pages, besides being hard to read, had also been wrongly bound, he managed to reconstruct and complete an unfinished Concertsatz in D minor, dated 1839 (world premiere in Vienna, 1986, with the Vienna Symphony conducted by Peter Gülke). He completed and orchestrated a Konzertsatz in F minor by Clara Schumann (world premiere Zwickau, 1986, with the orchestra of the Theater of Zwickau conducted by Albrecht Hofmann). He was the first to record all of Clara Schumann’s works for piano solo (three CDs). He is now regularly invited to be a member of the jury of the International Robert Schumann Competition for Piano, and occasionally of other international piano competitions as well.

Jozef De Beenhouwer is also an ardent champion of music by Belgian, especially Flemish, composers, whose works he plays and records regularly. When these have remained unpublished he deciphers them from the manuscript and sometimes ends up publishing them himself. (See the bibliography and discography, below.) On tour in the USA, Jozef De Beenhouwer has played a number of concerts as a soloist and with the violinist Janet Packer, and their programs have all featured American composers, such as Irving Fine, Amy Beach, Gardner Read, Andrew Imbrie and Vittorio Rieti.

Jozef De Beenhouwer succeeded his teacher Lode Backx as a professor of piano at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Antwerp in 1983 and he was also in charge of a chamber music course at the conservatory until 2013, when he reached the mandatory retirement age. But as a guest professor he remains, with the mezzo-soprano Lucienne Van Deyck, in charge of the course of Art Songs (a term of which is devoted to German Lieder).

From 1990 until 2015 he was the artistic director of the Brussels Lunchtime Concerts.

Besides in music, Jozef De Beenhouwer is also interested in literature and in painting. His knowledge of literature, particularly of German Romanticism, stands him in good stead in his Schumann studies and in his Art Song class. And he has published the standard monograph on the Belgian-Dutch painter Henry Luyten as well as a book on that painter’s school.

Prizes and Honors[edit]

  • Jozef De Beenhouwer has twice been rewarded with a Caecilia Prize (an award bestowed by the Belgian Association of Music Critics), in 1984 for a recording of works by Peter Benoit and in 1986 for a recording of works by Joseph Ryelandt.
  • For his endeavors on behalf of the works of Robert and Clara Schumann, the city of Zwickau awarded him its 1993 Robert Schumann Prize.
  • On November 29, 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of Klara, the classical-music channel of the Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep. From the citation[1] (translated from the Dutch): "An excellent pianist and an internationally recognized Schumann specialist … [who] has always championed Flemish composers with pleasure and with conviction."
  • Klara celebrated Jozef De Beenhouwer’s 70th birthday on March 26, 2018, by broadcasting recordings of his in all its music programs throughout the day (except in its jazz programs), 12 recordings in all. [2]

Bibliography (selection)[edit]


  • Robert Schumann Konzertsatz für Klavier und Orchester d-moll. Rekonstruiert und ergänzt von Jozef De Beenhouwer. (PB 5181.) Wiesbaden: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1988.
  • Clara Schumann Konzertsatz für Klavier und Orchester f-Moll. Ergänzt und instrumentiert von Jozef De Beenhouwer. (PB 5280.) Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, c1994.
  • Editions of works by Victor Legley, Joseph Ryelandt, Marinus de Jong, August de Boeck (all published by CeBeDeM); by Peter Benoit (Peter Benoit Fonds, Antwerp) and by Ernst Krenek (in the journal Gezelliana).
  • Jozef De Beenhouwer & Frank Teirlinck, eds. August De Boeck (1865–1937), Componist (Merchtem: Gemeente Merchtem, 2011; ISBN 978-90-817781-0-7. In Dutch. De Beenhouwer is also the author of over well over one-third of the second part of the book, devoted to the discussion of De Boeck's oeuvre.


  • Henry Luyten (1859–1945) (Antwerpen: MIM, 1995; ISBN 90-341-0857-0) (in Dutch)
  • ‘Institut des Beaux Arts Henry Luyten’ at Brasschaat: One Hundred Years On (Brasschaat: Pandora, 2008; ISBN 978-90-5325-293-2)

Discography (selection)[edit]


  1. ^ On the Klara website Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved on December 2, 2010.
  2. ^ "Jozef De Beenhouwer 70 jaar" in Newsletter 181 (March 2018) of the Studiecentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek.
  3. ^ a b c Diapason d'Or December 2004 in the category Découverte.

External links[edit]