Who is he ?
Virgile Van Essche is a Belgian pianist, accompanist and repetiteur.
Trained at Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory, London Royal Academy of Music and Brussels Royal Conservatory, he is now based in Brussels.
His activities are shared between international collaborative projects with singers and instrumentalists and work in opera.
Keen language lover, Virgile knows French, Russian, English and is proficient in German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
He spent 6 years in Russia and studied solo piano with teachers such as Galina Fedorova, Vladimir Shakin, Vladimir Mishiuk.
He studied chamber music with Ivan Mikhaïlov and piano accompaniment with Mavzhida Gimaledinova.
He got graduated from the establishment in June 2016 with distinction.
Virgile achieved a Master of Arts Degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London studying piano accompaniment and chamber music with renowned teachers such as Malcolm Martineau, James Baillieu, Audrey Hyland and Michael Dussek.
He got graduated in July 2018 with a high distinction for his final recital.
Virgile is also an alumnus of Brussels Royal Conservatoire, where he studied with the Belgian pianist and vocal coach Philippe Riga.
Aiming for a better understanding of music composed for historical keyboards, he entered Claire Chevallier’s pianoforte course at the BRC.
Virgile’s collaborative performances were appreciated in many competitions. In duo with Indian baritone Darwin Pakash, he was awarded the second prize at the Richard Lewis Competition (RAM), he received the third prize for accompaniment at the Schumann Lied Competition (RAM) ; his duos with Scottish baritone Niall Anderson, French soprano Mariamielle Lamagat and English cellist Rebecca McNaught were very highly commended.
Virgile was chosen to participate to the 2018 edition of the prestigious Georg Solti Academia for Repetiteurs and spent ten days on San Gorgio island in Venise, working with such personalities as conductor Richard Bonynge, repetiteurs James Vaughan, Jonathan Papp, Pamela Bullock and Annette Saunders.
In September 2018, in duo with Belgian soprano Juliette Allen, he was a finalist at the 5th Georges Enescu competition in Paris.
In October the same year, with French soprano Mariamielle Lamagat, Virgile was awarded 4 prizes ‘à l’unanimité du jury’ at the 11th International Lied Competition ‘Les Saisons de la Voix’, in Gordes, France.
He went to Thu, Danemark, and took park in the 2019 edition of the North Sea Vocal Academy, were he worked with teachers Helene Gjerris, Audrey Hyland and Mandy Demetriou.
He edited a two pianos version of Brahms Requiem and performed it at the Great Hall of the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels in fall 2019.
In duo with the Slovenian mezzo-soprano Tina Drole, Virgile was selected for the Udo Reinemann International Masterclass, happening in Brussels’ La Monnaie/De Munt throughout the season 2019-20. With Tina was also awarded the Third Prize for Lied Duo at the 5th International Competition ‘Triomphe de l’art’, in November 2019 in Brussels.
Throughout his studies, Virgile followed masterclasses by great pianists and singers Helmut Deutsch, Susan Manoff, José Van Dam, Christine Schäfer, Hans Eijsackers, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Thomas Oliemans, Christianne Stotijn, Ursula Kryger, Joseph Breinl, Daniel Ottevaere, Polina Leschenko, David Kuyken, Erik Berchot, Stéphane Demay and others.
In collaboration with talented singers and instrumentalists as well as soloist, Virgile is familiar with the Belgian, European and Russian stages. He performed in Brussels at Botanique, Palace for Fine Arts, Great Hall of the Royal Conservatoire, Atelier Marcel Hastir, Théâtre Poème, Pianos Maene, in Saint-Petersburg at the State Philharmonic Hall Glinka, in London at St. James’ Piccadilly Church, in Paris at Alfred Cortot Hall, …