Celis had his first piano lessons with his father at the age of nine. He later studied with Jo Dusseldorp at Conservatorium Maastricht, graduating with distinction in 1979. At the age of fifteen he won a Dutch competition for young pianists, and four years later (1977) third prize at the famous Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy. He continued his studies for two years with Paul Badura-Skoda at the Folkwang Musikhochschule in Essen, Germany. He is also a laureate of the Tromp Competition in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 1980 and the Epinal International Piano Competition (France) in 1981.
In addition to giving solo recitals and chamber music concerts, Joop Celis has made a number of radio recordings for several international broadcasting companies, as well as recordings for release on CD. His repertoire ranges from the Classical period through the Romantic era to French impressionism and post-romanticism. He has particularly devoted himself to the relatively unknown British composer York Bowen (1884–1961), of whose piano works he recorded four CDs for the English label Chandos. For the Swedish label BIS, he recorded a SACD with piano works by Spanish composer Enrique Granados (including his famous piano suite ‘Goyescas’), which will be released in January 2016. Read more on Celis' personal website: www.joopcelis.com.