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Benjamin STEENS

 

Born in Bonheiden (Belgium), Benjamin-Joseph Steens studied musicology at the Catholic University of Louvain and at the University of the Sorbonne Paris-IV, where he earned a Master’s degree in 1994. At the same time, the extensive musical formation that he underwent at the Lemmens Institute (Louvain) and at the Conservatory of Orleans led him to the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris, where his studies were rewarded with several first prizes and diplomas of higher formation in organ (under Michel Bouvard and Olivier Latry), harpsichord (under Pierre Hantaï then Olivier Baumont) and basso continuo. In addition, while there, he procured the “Certificat d’Aptitude” for Organ (department of pedagogy, 2004).

His attraction to antique keyboard instruments was enriched by his contact with Jos van Immerseel, with whom he studied at the Conservatory of Antwerp. Since that time, he has played more and more clavichord, becoming one of the few contemporary keyboardists to play this instrument in solo and chamber music recitals.

Titular of the Cattiaux great organ in the Saint-Remi Basilica of Reims, he teaches organ, harpsichord and basso continuo at the National Conservatory of Region of Music and Dance in Reims and at the Conservatory in Levallois (near Paris); his clavichord classes at the Sorbonne University are part of a special Master program dedicated to Early Music. Since September 2020, Benjamin Steens is a professor of “historical keyboards” at the Haute école des arts du Rhin (HEAR) at Strasboug.

His discography includes several CDs made ​​for the Label Epr-classic. In 2007 appears the CD / DVD Bach – Buxtehude recorded on the great organs of Saint-Martin de Vertus and Saint-Remi in Reims. His clavichord recordings: the Goldberg Variations by JS Bach (2010) and Bach and Sons, sonatas for flute and obbligato keyboard of the Bach family with Jacques-Antoine Bresch playing Traverso (2011) won considerable public success, were acclaimed by international critics and especially rewarded with 5 Diapasons in France.

Benjamin Steens