The Franco-Belgian pianist Maxence Pilchen began studying music at age three with Anne-Marie Oberreit, who very quickly noticed his natural gifts. Thanks to her nine years of excellent teaching, Maxence was able to develop and hone this natural talent. At the age of five, Pilchen began participating in various concerts and at 11 he won the RTBF's Young Soloist contest in Brussels. The following year, he won the RAI Uno world competition for young musicians in Bologna.
His career continued under several major musical figures which has afforded him a solid base training rich in varied influences. He has been advised and trained by Janusz Olejniczak in Warsaw, Ringeissen Bernard in Paris, Daniel Blumenthal, Diane Andersen in Brussels and especially Byron Janis in New York, a pianist with whom he has maintained a very privileged friendship.
This young pianist has also benefitted from the experience of conductors like Jacques Houtmann in Lorraine, Christian Tiemeyer in the United States, Octav Calleya in Romania, Peter Bartholomew in Belgium and that of the cellist Mark Drobinsky.
Maxence Pilchen's vast repertoire, which includes both solo and orchestra work, along with his interpretations of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Albert Roussel or Prokofiev, have earned him critical acclaim in the musical world. He has also participated in the creation and execution of many contemporary works. Thanks to this wide ranging repertoire, he has won many other international distinctions in cities such as Porto, Barcelona, Rome and Epinal. Twice, during a meeting of the Francophone Public Radio Group, an organization which brings together major French, Swiss, Canadian and Belgian radio stations, he was proclaimed "Soloist of the Year" by RTBF. He also received the Maurice Lefranc's Young Hope award in Brussels.
With these distinctions under his belt, Maxence Pilchen has played in prestigious venues around the world including the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Oporto Coliseum, the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie and the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Salle Gaveau in Paris.
Several large ensembles such as the National Opera Quartet of Belgium, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège, the National Orchestra of Porto, or the Philharmonic Târgu-Mures and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Cedar Rapids have invited him to perform with them.
These concerts have earned him many accolades in the press, particularly in the US where he has given numerous recitals. "One of the most celebrated concert pianists of his time, Maxence delights crowds with his romantic and melodic arrangements of classical masterpieces. The virtuoso has earned several notable awards throughout his career. "
He has participated in major musical events like the Chopin Festival in Bagatelle, the International Festival of Dinard, Pianissimo in Liege and at prestigious events in Monaco, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Romania, Cyprus, Portugal but also in Korea and in several cities around the United States.
This young pianist's concerts have been broadcast on several European television channels and radio stations: Musiq3, RTBF and VRT in Belgium, Rai Uno in Italy, Mezzo TV, France Musique and France Bleu to name a few, but also in Portugal, Poland, Japan, Korea and The United States.
In 2012, Maxence Pilchen even participated in a scene from Philippe Claudel's feature film Avant L'hiver.
His unique talent and his sense of nuance and poetry, noted by many critics, have placed Maxence Pilchen among his former masters, Bernard Ringeissen, Janusz Olejniczak and especially Byron Janis, to whom, in 2010, he was able to pay homage by presenting the European premier of the film The Byron Janis Story.
In addition to his rigorous training and experience and to further his development, Maxence Pilchen has been practicing on nineteenth century pianos. Playing these instruments has allowed him to discover a different sound and has revealed secrets about the art of composing and the musicians during that period. "Old pianos,” he explains, “help me discover endless and sometimes unsuspected sounds simply by complying with and respecting the text. Modern pianos are then used to develop these sounds. "
Most noted for his interpretations of Chopin, especially by the specialist composer musicologist, Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Maxence Pilchen has appeared regularly on the program of the Chopin Festival in Nohant since 2011, where he first played in honor of Byron Janis. In 2012, he was lined up to perform a “not to miss” concert at Lisztomanias in Chateauroux, according to Diapason magazine. The following year, he gave a great Chopin recital in Cedar Rapids in the United States.
Within his varied repertoire, Chopin has long occupied a special place in Maxence Pilchen's heart. So it is only natural and fitting that his first CD, released in 2015, is dedicated to the romantic composer's 24 Preludes (Paraty).
His subtle and personal interpretation was hailed by many critics like Musical Education, Crescendo Magazine, as sensitive to this "new reading of the Preludes," while Classica awarded it four stars. Following this triumph, the pianist will record a second CD also at Paraty in 2016.
Maxence Pilchen has been able to continue his concert career with the support of the Safran Foundation for music. In 2016, he will perform in New York and Paris at the Salle Gaveau, but also at the Musique sur Douarnenez Festival and fiftieth edition of the Nohant Festival.