At the age of sixteen Katia Veekmans-Cieszkowski made her debut as a soloist with the ‘Limburgs
Symphonie Orkest’ in the Netherlands. Since then she has given numerous concerts at international
stages. She has performed frequently as a soloist with other renowned orchestras under eminent
conductors including Gerard Oskamp, Horia Andreescu, Patrick Baton, Jan Stulen, Jac Van Steen, George Octors , Rino Marrone, Luca Pfaff, Michel Tilkin, Enrico Delamboye, Walter Proost, Dirk De Caluwé, Michel Tabachnik, Luis Machado…
Katia Veekmans-Cieszkowski has given many recitals in prestigious concert halls throughout Europe including:Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam (NL), de Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam (NL), Palace of Fine Arts Bozar in Brussels (B), MuziekcentrumVredenburg in Utrecht (NL), Music Hall Kilbarchan (UK), Concert Hall of Agria-Volos (GR), Concert Hall of Sélid (ISL), Salle des Charpentes in Paris (F), De Singel Antwerpen (B), Câmara de Gondomar (P), Merchant’s House in Glasgow (UK), Vrijthof Maastricht (NL), Beethovenhalle in Bonn (D), Sachsenhalle Grosssachsen (D), La petite Malmaison Paris (F), Concert Hall Bari (IT), Teatro Helena Sá e Costa in Porto (P), Hall of Thjódmenningarhúsid Reykjavik (ISL), Arnold Schönberg Zaal Den Haag (NL)… Her international festival appearances include the International Chopin Festival, the Mozart Festival, the Festival Midis-Minimes, the Russian Piano Festival, the Basilica Festival, the Festival de Wallonie, Heidelberger Frühling, the Flanders Festival, the Festival Juillet Musical, the Beloeil Festival, the Debussy-Ravel Festival Utrecht, the International Evmelia III Festival (GR), Festival Scandinavia, the ‘Klara’ Festival of the Classical Radio, the International Festival Artave Portugal a.o. Her many concerts, television and radio broadcasts, and her appearances at European festivals have established a reputation as an outstanding musician of her generation. She has also recorded CDs with works by Rachmaninov, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Shchedrin, Prokofiev, Chopin, Schumann...
She subsequently graduated under André De Groote (Brussels) and Naum Grubert (The Hague) and she specialized at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris under Brigitte Engerer and under Ruben Lifschitz. For five years she studied with the famous Russian pianist Lazar Berman who had a significant influence on her musical enhancement. She obtained a doctoral degree in the Arts at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) where she investigated ‘The perception of orchestral timbres applied to the piano repertoire - a symbiosis of idea and musical expression’.
She was awarded many first prizes at both national and international Competitions viz the International Rachmaninov Competition, the International Robert Schumann Competition and the International Domenico Sarro Competition in Italy. She also received the Brilliant Lion prize for classical music, the Maurice Lefranc prize, the Mathilde Horlait Dapsens prize a.o.
Katia Veekmans-Cieszkowski combines a career as a concert pianist with teaching activities. Since 1994 she has been a professor of Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She was also a professor at the Faculty of Music of Utrecht (2006 – 2010) and at the Department of European Studies at Zuyd University in Maastricht (since 2009).
Often she is invited to give International Piano Masterclasses in Belgium, Spain, Iceland, Portugal, Slovakia, Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands….
Since 2005 she is the artistic director of the International Piano Masterclasses Key Classics in Belgium. In addition she regularly is a member of the jury in national and international competitions. Frequently she is requested to give lectures and presentations about:
- Texture adjustments leading to orchestral traceability on 1 instrument - Pictures at an Exhibition
- Visualisation of orchestral textures in Franz Liszt’s piano repertory
- Prokofiev, an orchestral pianist or a pianistic orchestrator- Prokofiev’s creative process
- Perception of orchestral timbre when performing piano music - a symbiosis of idea and musical expression
- Perspectives on orchestral sound in piano repertory
- Orchestral sound in the pianorepertory of Debussy and Ravel
- Relevance of orchestral sound in pianorepertory - difficult or impossible
‘I can congratulate Belgium for having nurtured such a highly skilled and excellent artist
as I consider Katia Veekmans to be. She has the knack of interpreting very well and in an extremely interesting way different authors’ works and different styles…’ Lazar Berman