I’m a Belgian pianist and performer of mostly contemporary classical music, with a great fondness for complex (post) modern repertoire. On the podium or in the studio, solo or in ensembles, I always aim for a well-informed and honest performance, with passion but without frills.
Because of my interest in classical music inspired by popular music, I studied jazz for some years, resulting in a recording of Finnissy’s Gershwin cycles. Through my interest in Japanese traditional and contemporary classical music, I re-discovered the sound potential of the piano. This already resulted in a recording of the complete piano works by Takemitsu and a première recording of Triadic by Hori. Many other recordings can be found on my Spotify artist page, YouTube channel, Soundcloud page.
My desire to be a well-informed artist lead to a PhD on complex contemporary piano music (@School of Arts, Ghent), and post-doctoral projects on HIP of Brahms’ music (@Orpheus Institute, Ghent) and contemporary Japanese piano music (@School of Arts, Ghent).
Apart from performing a lot of solo music, I’m an experienced ensemble performer, from duos to large ensembles with or without conductor and orchestra. More information on the ensembles I’m part of can be found below.
A longer and a Dutch version of my biography can be found below, as well as information on the ensembles I play in, my artistic research projects and past projects.
Lukas Huisman is a member of the Spectra Ensemble. More information on www.spectraensemble.eu
MessiaenRzewskiSorabjiFerneyhoughFinnissyXenakisLimits of nature and nature of limits
Musical performative duo formed by Patrick Housen (live) electronics and Lukas Huisman (acoustic) piano. Project-based: in each project we create a 'field' while playing. Our source material is graphic work that we convert into a listening experience. Graphic objects are our building blocks that are taken out of context and deconstructed to carefully reconstruct them in our own narrative; in the search for the answer to the question: "How do we look at music & how do we listen to images?" Sounds and music, coming from the acoustic piano, are molded and interpreted using live processing and effects in a shared sound world. The graphic source material is projected live, with our working sketches displayed as an overlay to provide visual support to the listener.
Birds in Warped Time 2Satoh4 PiecesWebernMessiaenAdagio BergQuatuor pour la fin du tempsMessiaenSchönbergsPierrot LunaireStraussDelibesStravinskyBernsteinYoung soloists Oost-Vlaanderen 2014
Collaborations: Claudia Ibarra, violin and viola / Robin Van Heghe, violin / Lukas Huisman, piano / Danré Strydom, clarinet and bass clarinet / Eline Duerinck, cello / Annelies Heyvaert, flute and piccolo / Anna Pardo Canedo, voice and Sprechstimme / Sabine Schmitz, clarinet and bass clarinet / Benjamin Glorieux, conductor / Filip Rathé, conductor.
In November 2018, Lukas started working on a post-doctoral artistic research project at the School of Arts Ghent with as focus the fusion of eastern and western sound worlds in the works for piano of Japanese composers in the last 50 years: Color Chart for the Traveling Pianist.
Most traditional Japanese musical instruments display a tendency towards what we would call imperfect sound. Strings are strung in such a way that they make a buzzy sound, flutes are constructed to add a lot of wind noise to a tone. Other traditional Japanese instruments also create a living tone; a tone that tells a story and has a powerful expression of itself. As an increasing number of young Japanese composers show interest in their musical heritage, this quest for a rich color palette is renewed. Interestingly, these composers mostly write music for western instruments, which are traditionally perfected to produce a noise-free sound. An important factor in this research project is a dialogue with the new generation of Japanese composers and the analysis of their works. However, also in western music culture, many composers experimented with extended techniques to make instruments sound not quite like themselves. On the other end of a spectrum, historically informed performance practice demonstrates that subtle changes in timing, dynamics, balance, etc. can result in different sound textures, possibly even without using period instruments. Furthermore, live electronics add another continent to the sound worlds that can be traveled to, using a piano. This broadening of the sound spectrum in all directions adds up to one big color chart, with a plethora of possibilities, from subtle arpeggiating of chords, choosing the right instrument and using its full potential, to extended techniques, preparations and live electronics. The almost endless terrain can, however, be a place to get lost in. Through the metaphor of another instrument, we can navigate this terrain, discover the potential of the piano anew and attune our ears to find similarities with instruments from other cultures. This in itself is a metaphor for how we can discover other cultures and find common grounds.
In September 2016, Lukas received a PhD for his research on the notation in the piano works of Sorabji, Xenakis, Ferneyhough and Finnissy, Limits of nature and nature of limits. (Artistic doctorate from School of Arts Ghent and Ghent University, IPEM.)
This dissertation examines the works of four composers that explore the physical and mental limits of the performer. The subject is approached via their oeuvre for solo piano. The Opus Clavicembalisticum (Cadenza I, Adagio, Coda. Stretta) and the Symphonic Nocturne by Sorabji, Evryali by Xenakis, Lemma-Icon-Epigram by Ferneyhough and Midsomer morn (from the English Country-tunes) by Finnissy are analysed. These works exemplify the excess of specification of one or more musical parameters. In certain cases, this problematizes the relation between score and performer. The pianist is being confronted with new liberties and therefore new responsibilities when performing these works. The question, how are these scores to be played was answered in four case studies about the four composers mentioned earlier. Focussing on the traditional score, this question can be narrowed down to, what accumulated knowledge about the proper performance of these works can be added to a new score and thus passed on to the next performer?
BachDebussy RavelPiano PhaseReichGeminiDevreeseJeroen De Brauwer12 Études
He took (algorithmic) composition classes with Godfried-Willem Raes for five years. In 2011, he was asked to write the Trefpunt composition assignment which was played as part of the concert series Gentse Vleugels at the music and theatre festival Gentse Feesten. Also, the Kalès Guitarquartet asked him to write a piece, which was played on the Festival van Vlaanderen, Kortrijk in 2013.
Ogen / electronic music for one-minute video by Diederik Suykens (2006)
Lukas Huisman (born 1987) studied with Daan Vandewalle at the Ghent Faculty of Music, where he graduated summa cum laude. He received the De Blonde-Torck prize as the most deserving student and attended master classes with Ian Pace (Ferneyhough, Finnissy), Jonathan Powell (Sorabji, Xenakis, Ferneyhough, Finnissy), Geoffrey Douglas Madge (Sorabji, Xenakis), Ciro Longobardi (Scriabin), Daniel Rivera (Busoni), Anna Schott (Brahms), and Carlo Mazzoli (Messiaen). From 2012 to 2016 he worked on an artistic doctoral project relating to contemporary complex solo piano music (Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Xenakis, Sorabji) at the School of Arts Ghent/University Ghent.
Lukas mainly performs contemporary music, with particular attention to the little-known composer K. S. Sorabji. This brought him into contact with various performers of Sorabji’s work. He worked on several international projects, aimed at making the manuscripts of this little-performed composer more accessible. This already resulted in the publication of scores as 100 Transcendental Studies, 104 Frammenti Aforistici, Opus Secretum, 4 Frammenti Aforistici, and the Symphonic Nocturne and a recording of the latter work, a monumental piece for solo piano, lasting over two hours. It received a 5* review on Piano International (Agora Classica). You will find more information on the site of The Sorabji Archive.
Recently he was able to start a post-doctoral research project at the School of Arts Ghent with as focus the fusion of eastern and western sound worlds in the works for piano of Japanese composers in the last 50 years. His recording of the complete piano works by Takemitsu is the first artistic output and received a 5* review on WDR3, a 4* review on BBC Music Magazine, and was nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
Lukas often plays creations of new music, like the two Piano Trios, the 12 Études for piano duo and the complete works for piano solo by Jeroen De Brauwer, chamber music by Hans Roels (BE and UK), Evert Bogaert and Susan Clynes, and solo piano and chamber music pieces by Alfred Vorster (CH and SA). Together with Ivo Delaere he forms the Simplexity piano duo. With Patrick Housen(live electronics) he forms Graphology. He is the pianist of the Warped Time ensemble, and, with Tine Allegaert formed the Tinnitus piano duo. He took chamber music classes with Filip Rathé, Kris Deprey, and Patrick Beuckels. At the Orpheus Institute, he and Ivo Delaere are taking chamber music master classes about Brahms and Finnissy with Piet Kuijken, Piet Van Bockstal, Paul De Clerck and France Springuel.
Lukas Huisman (1987) volgde een professionele masteropleiding bij Daan Vandewalle aan het Gentse Conservatorium, waar hij met grootste onderscheiding afstudeerde. Hij ontving de prijs "De Blonde-Torck" als ‘meest verdienstelijke student’ en volgde al masterclasses bij Ian Pace (Ferneyhough, Finnissy), Jonathan Powell (Sorabji, Xenakis, Ferneyhough, Finnissy), Geoffrey-Douglas Madge (Sorabji, Xenakis), Ciro Longobardi (Scriabin), Daniel Rivera (Busoni) en Carlo Mazzoli (Messiaen). In 2016 behaalde hij aan een artistiek doctoraat aan de School of Arts Gent met een project over hedendaagse complexe pianomuziek (Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Xenakis, Sorabji).
Hij zet zich vooral in voor het vertolken van hedendaagse muziek waarbij hij bijzondere aandacht besteedt aan de minder bekende componist Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji. In dit verband werkte hij mee aan verscheidene internationale projecten, die als doel hadden manuscripten van deze weinig uitgevoerde componist te ontsluiten. Partituren die al werden gepubliceerd met zijn medewerking zijn: 100 Transcendental Studies, 104 Frammenti Aforistici, Opus Secretum, 4 Frammenti Aforistici, en de Symphonic Nocturne. Van dit laatste werk, een massief klankmonument van meer dan twee uur lang, maakte hij tevens de eerste opname. Meer informatie is te vinden op de site van The Sorabji Archive.
Hij startte in 2018 met een post-doctoraal onderzoeksproject aan de School of Arts Gent rond de symbiose van oosterse en westerse kunst in de pianowerken van Japanse componisten in de laatstee 50 jaar. Zijn opname van de complete pianowerken van Takemitsu, een eerste artistieke output, werd reeds bekroond met 5* op WDR 3, 4* in het BBC Music Magazine en een nominatie voor de Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
Vaak speelt Lukas creaties van nieuwe muziek, zoals de twee Pianotrio’s en de Études voor piano duo van Jeroen De Brauwer, kamermuziekwerken van Hans Roels (BE en UK), Evert Bogaert en Susan Clynes, en enkele solo- en kamermuziekwerken van Alfred Vorster (CH en SA). Samen met Ivo Delaere vormt hij het Simplexity pianoduo. Voorts is hij pianist bij het Warped Time ensemble, toetsenist bij Tempus Cucumis en vormde hij met Tine Allegaert het Tinnitus pianoduo. Hij volgde kamermuziek bij Filip Rathé, Kris Deprey en Patrick Beuckels. Aan het Orpheus Instituut volgt hij met Ivo Delaere de reeks masterclasses kamermuziek. Zij kregen hier les over Brahms en Finnissy van Anna Scott, Piet Kuijken, Piet Van Bockstal, Paul De Clerck en France Springuel.
The Tinnitus piano duo originated from years of collaboration between Tine Allegaert and Lukas Huisman. They played works by composers ranging from Bach, Debussy and Ravel, to Piano Phase by Reich and Gemini by Devreese. In early 2011 they asked Jeroen De Brauwer to write a full-length collection of technically challenging music, which also uses new playing techniques and displays the performers as more than mere musicians. This resulted in the 12 Études.