I heard Philippe Descamps for the first time as an 8 years old violinist during a session of concerts promoting students of a Belgian music school.
He was not what we generally call a young prodigy but everyone agreed that this young boy should become a nice violinist in the future. Everyone was impressed by the way he matched the composers thoughts. His sonority and his musicality were already promising.
From then on I always tried to follow the evolution of this really interesting violinist. The way he mastered to perfectly interpret a great number of composers was astonishing. I rarely saw such a large repertoire, going from pre-classic to contemporary western or eastern composers.
Technically able to perform every difficult piece of music like the ones of Ernst's studies, he never forgets to bring mainly the right message of the music itself.
Let us now summary the career of this wonderful musician. Born May 11, 1960 at Ixelles, suburb of Brussels, Philippe Descamps played violin at the age of 4 with Martin TYTGAT, with whom he studied until he was 12.
Then he entered the class of Agustín LEÓN-ARA at the Royal Music Academy of Brussels (" Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Bruxelles"), institution where he obtained his violin first prize in 1977. An exhilarating first concerto of Paganini with the Belgian Radio and Television Orchestra conducted by Edgard Doneux was performed the same year.
Admitted at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in 1977 he enlarged deeply his culture with different topics such as history of fine arts and literature. There he graduated in 1980.
A mastership in violin (1981) and in chamber music (1982) was then one more step in his career before he entered master classes in Spain, Italy and Germany to mature his skills. Violin masters like Joshua EPSTEIN, Franco GULLI, Elías ARIZCÚREN and Leonid KOGAN were his mentors.
Later at the Musikhochschule des Saarlandes (Saarbrücken, Germany) he was nominated in 1989 as Konzertreifeprufung.
Attracted by contemporary music, including jazz, he amazed his listeners by performing Eastern music from China and Japan. For these occasions he was accompanied with oriental instruments like zheng and gongs.
He was awarded with many prizes:
- Concurso Internacional de Interpretacíon Musical (Granada, Spain, 1989): 2d
- Concours Tenuto - Young Virtuosi (Brussels, 1983): 1st
- Walter-GIESEKING-Wettbewerb (Saarbrücken, Germany, 1987): 1st
He plays a Ruggieri violin with which he develops a rich, warm and powerful sound.
Professor at the Royal Music Academy of Mons and two other Belgian music schools (Ixelles and Eghezée) he built his pedagogical experience as deputy lecturer at the Royal Music Academy of Brussels and the Royal Music Academy of Mons.
He presently has students from all over the world (Belgium, Korea, Ukraine, Albania, Germany etc.) at the Royal Academy of Mons and master classes given in Belgium, France, Spain, and Germany. Master class in China (Taiwan) is also planned.
Performing at different festivals (Maastricht, Etroeungt, Saarbrücken) he was recently invited to premiere in Tokyo the new violin concerto of the praised Japanese composer Hifumi Shimoyama (CD will be released mid 2004) with the Tokyo Symphony under Kunitaka Kokaji.
Chamber music is peculiarly attractive to him, a pleasure he shares with a lot of friends from Belgium, Italy (Pierre Brunello), Japan (Yuka Isutzu), USA (Julius Stenzel) etc.
Speaking fluently French, Spanish, German, Dutch and English, he is presently studying Russian and Japanese. And last but not least, his wide universe of interest included astronomy, mathematics, language studies, painting, chess, nature, gastronomy and ... martial arts like karate.
A very interesting artist, don't you think? In more than a way he is a wonderfully cultivated violinist.
Daniel Tytgat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact address of Philippe Descamps: Philippe.Descamps.KV@skynet.be