The De Maeyer-Kende Violin & Piano Duo Interview

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The De Maeyer-Kende Violin and Piano Duo will be gracing the stage in NoHo for The Athena Foundation for the Arts on April 7, 2024. These internationally acclaimed Belgian musicians, violinist Jolente De Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende have curated a unique program taking you on a guided musical tour through Germany, Austria and Estonia with sparkling Beethoven Violin Sonatas and gems by Fritz Kreisler and Arvo Pärt.

For those who don’t know, the De Maeyer-Kende Violin and Piano Duo has been recognized as one of the leading musical duos in Europe. After their individual successes at international competitions, Jolente De Maeyer and Nikolaas Kende each began performing as soloists with all the major Belgian orchestras. As a duo, concerts at major venues and festivals throughout Europe followed. The press has remarked on their exceptional synergy and harmony. We’re lucky to have them perform for our community, here in the NoHo Arts District!

The De Maeyer-Kende Violin and Piano Duo are interviewed by The Athena Foundation for the Arts

So how did we meet? Here’s the story. Back in February 2023, Nikolaas emailed me advising he and Jolente learned of The Athena Foundation for the Arts and our stellar concert series through mutual friends in music. Their impressive bios and links to performances caught my attention. They seemed to be a good fit for Athena’s concert series, but I wanted to meet them first. I invited them to a Zoom interview and they graciously accepted. During our conversation, I learned we have a longtime mutual friend in common, maestro pianist Steven Vanhauwaert! Steven had booked them for an April 5, 2024 First Fridays at First Torrance, CA concert, a series near and dear to my heart, so it made sense for them to inquire about performing in Athena’s 2024 concert series that weekend. This broke the ice and sealed the deal.

And now it is our pleasure to present our beloved readers our traditional pre-concert interview, introducing these fine musicians and the story behind their curated program. We hope you enjoy meeting the Belgian Violin and Piano Duo, Jolente De Maeyer and Nikolaas Kende in this blog interview and in person at their April 7, 2024 concert. [Ticket and concert details at the bottom of the blog interview.]

LRW: Jolente and Nikolaas, we’re so excited to have you in our 2024 concert series. May I ask what was the inspiration behind your curated program? Why these pieces? Why these composers? Why now?

JDM: We have always had a great passion for Beethoven. He is the composer we perform most often, from our very first concert 20 years ago. We feel that our personalities are complementary with Beethoven’s works. Our personalities seem to come through very well in Beethoven’s music.

LRW: That’s lovely. I understand and look forward to hearing your performances of Beethoven’s Sonatas. Wow, 20 years of performing together. Congratulations! That’s notable. What about the other composers?

NK: We love also the combination of Beethoven with more contemporary music, so in this case, Fratres by Arvo Pärt. The Kreisler pieces are like gems, musical pralines, lovely encores.

LRW: A nice blend of composers and pieces. Our audience will be thrilled. Can you hint at the imagery you’ve curated for your pieces and the stories behind them?

JDM: The two elements which are very present in the pieces we’ll perform are nature and dance.

NK: So you’ll find a few paintings inspired by these elements with colors that associate the music with.

LRW: Sounds gorgeous and inspiring. I’m looking forward to seeing these beautiful images paired with your gorgeous program. Thank you for curating. May I ask, have you recorded any of the pieces you will be performing? If so, where may my readers purchase your albums?

NK: We recorded Fratres by Arvo Pärt on our Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata, Op. 47 – Shostakovich: Preludes, Op. 34 album, which is available on Apple Music.

LRW: Nice. I hope my readers take a moment to check this out. Before we end this delightful conversation, do you happen to have a favorite quote by a composer or musician that you’d like to share with our readers?

Life without music is meaningless, music without life is academic. ~ Leonard Bernstein Share on X

LRW: I couldn’t agree more.

Thank you so much for your generous time sharing the stories behind your upcoming Athena program. We’re very excited for your concert.

To learn more about these maestros, please visit their website and social media platforms.

Jolente De Maeyer

Nikolaas Kende

Please join us at the concert! Details below.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Doors Open: 3:15 PM
Concert: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM PDT
Delicious Complimentary Refreshments

Community Auditorium
Church of Scn of the Valley
11455 Burbank Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91601
•The concert is hosted exclusively by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.
•It is not a church event.
•The Community Auditorium is made available for rent to nonprofits charitable organizations.
• If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us. Thank you.

FREE Parking: Farmdale Avenue lot and street parking

Purchase tickets on Eventbrite here or scan the QR code at the door. Cash or Credit card payments also available.
Questions? Please feel free to email us. Hope you can join us!
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The Athena Foundation for the Arts sets the stage, providing world class performing arts programs to enrich and educate the community. If you enjoyed this story, please feel free to share on your favorite social media to get the word out about our nonprofit! Thank you for your support.

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