Alexandre Debrus CV

Born in 1976, into a family of musicians, Alexandre Debrus received, at the age of three, his first violin lesson by his uncle Marcel Boucher (composer and violonist) and at the age of four he started to play the cello under the guidance of his mother. Whilst still a small child, he was already taking part in rehearsals of the RTBF Symphony Orchestra where his father Raoul Debrus and his mother Eliane Debrus-Boucher, were respectively lead viola and cello. Apart from the cello, Alexandre also practiced playing the trumpet, the valve trombone and the piano.

At the age of twelve he gave his first cello concerts and when 15 he was admitted to the class of Luc Dewez at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons. After graduation at the age of 19 he completed his musical studies at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. He also studied with Mischa Maisky and Marc Drobinsky at the Chigiana Academy of Siena, where he obtained award and scholarship. He worked with Marc Drobinsky in Paris and with Yvan Monighetti at the "Musikhochschule" in Basel. He further enjoyed guidance of Mstislas Rostropovich at Beloeil.

Several scholarschips have been awarded to him such as in 1995, he received the “Cultural Deserve” in Waterloo, he won in 1999 the first prize of the "Mathilde Horlait Dapsens" competition with the pianist Giovanni Mastroserio, he was also awarded the SABAM prize for the best Belgian composition. He received in 2001, from a public's vote of Waterloo, the "Cristal Lion" awarded to the "Best Musical Prospect". Alexandre was winner of the 2004 scholarship of the "Belgian Foundation of Vocation (VOCATIO) and received in 2007, the title of honorary citizen of the city of Nagakute in Japan. And in February 2020, Alexandre receives, at the Brussels City Hall, the FUGA Trophy 2019 awarded by the Union of Belgian Composers. This Trophy rewards the performers who have best disseminated Belgian music.

Between 1999 and 2006, he was appointed to give chamber music lessons at Andre Siwy's side to the "Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels". In 2005, he founded the Carlo Van Neste Trio, currently composed of Karin Lechner (piano) and Maya Levy (violin), thanks to the support of the non-profit organization Carlo Van Neste. Since 2020, Alexandre Debrus has been part of the PASSACAGLIA Duo, alongside concert flautist Marc Grauwels.

He gives numerous concerts in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Italy, Spain, Greece, the United States, Russia, Argentina, Israël, Japan, Brazil and in China. He is invited in different Festivals such as that of Biarritz, Novossibirsk Cello Festival in Siberia, Martha Argerich Festival in Buenos Aires, "Projetto Martha Argerich" Festival in Lugano, Montenegro Music Festival, Musical Summits of Gstaad, Festival "Les Plaisirs d'Eté" in Saint-Perdon in France, in Belgium, in the Musical July of Aulne, in the “Eté Mosan” Festival, in the “Midis Minimes” Festival, The Belgo-Festival, The “Concerts de Midi” of Bruxelles, The “Concerts de Midi” of Liège, etc.

Alexandre Debrus often played in the presence of members of the Royal Family of Belgium, in soloist or as chambrist.

His musicality and virtuosity have inspired composers as different as Robert Janssens and Sébastien Lienart from Belgium, the Hungarian Laszlo Kiraly, the American James Demars, the Belgo-Canadian Michel Lysight or the French Composer Alain Jomy who has dedicated several works to him.

He recorded twenty two CD’s as soloist and with chamber music ensemble under different labels, such as Pavane Records, EMI Classics, RCA Victor Red Seal (BMG), Artès Classics, Warner Classics.

Alexandre Debrus plays with a Georges Heynberg cello (Liège 1934) "Pegasus", and a Jan Strick cello (Brussels 2004) "Alexandre".

Academic career

Between 1994 and 2008 : Cello Teacher at the school "Musica Libre" in Ohain in Belgium.

In 1998 : Master Classes in Japan whilst on tour.

In 1998 : Master Classes whilst on tour at the Biarritz festival.

Between 1999 and 2006 : Chamber Music Teacher
at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels at Andre Siwy's side.

In 2000 : Interim Teacher at the Academies of Rixensart and Ath for Cello Classes, Chamber Music
and Conductor of instrumental groups.

Between 2001 and 2007 : Cello Teacher at the "Petite Chapelle Musicale d'Argenteuil".

In 2002 : Appointed as Interim Teacher for Chamber Music
at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons at Luc Dewez's side.

In 2002 : Interim Teacher at the Academies of Rixensart and Ath for Cello Classes, Chamber Music
and Conductor of Instrumental groups.

Since 2019, Cello Teacher at the Waterloo Music Academy in Belgium.


In 1994 : First Prize of Musiktheorie,
to the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons. (Roger Verstraeten's Class)

In 1995 : First Prize of Cello with "Big Distinction",
to the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons. (Luc Dewez's Class)

In 1995 : First Prize of Chamber Music with "The Biggest Distinction",
to the Royal Conservatory of Music of Mons. (Eliane Debrus-Boucher's Class)

In 1995 : Awarded the Cultural Merit award "Fifty One" to the City of Waterloo.

In 1999 : "The Upper Diploma" of Chamber Music with " The Most Biggest Distinction ",
to the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels. (André Siwy's Class)

In 1996 : "The Upper Diploma" and received the Scholarship grant
to the Chigana Academia de Sienne Scholarship. (Mischa Maisky's Class)

In 1999 : "Mathilde Horlait Dapsens" award with the pianist Giovanni Mastroserio.

In 1999 : "SABAM" award for the better interpretation for a Belgian masterpiece.

In 2000 : The Brussels Rotary Club award him a grant for his previous accomplishments.

In 2001 : Awarded Waterloo's "Crystal Lion" for best musical hope.

In 2004 : Alexandre became the winner of the Class of 2004, and received a grant
from the « Belgian Fondation of the Vocation ».

In 2019: The FUGA Trophy 2019 awarded by the Union of Belgian Composers.

Trio Carlo Van Neste

The Trio Carlo Van Neste is born in 2005 at the initiative of the cellist Alexandre Debrus, who received permission to use the name of the great belgian violinist by his daughter, Dominique Van Neste, President of the Carlo Van Neste Association.

This name was given to him in tribute to the first famous Trio Carlo Van Neste, which subsequently became known as the "Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Trio". At the time it was composed of Naum Slusny (piano), Carlo Van Neste (violin) and Eric Feldbusch (cello).

Even if the cellist Alexandre Debrus is the pivot, the new Trio Carlo Van Neste has witnessed, over the years, in the violin part, artists from major talents such as Wibert Aerts, Noé Inui, Alissa Margulis, Maya Levy and is to this day, once again under the fingers of Wibert Aerts, who was first violinist in the new Trio Carlo Van Neste when it was formed in 2005. In 2012 Karin Lechner succeeded Sébastien Lienart in the piano part in 2012.

Based in Brussels, they have been singled out both for their lively and passionate interpretations as well as for the daring creativity with which they’ve reinterpreted works from the great clavier trio repertoire.

The Trio Carlo Van Neste gives numerous concerts around the world as in Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, United States, Russia, Argentina, Israël and in Japan. The Trio is invited in different Festivals such as that of Biarritz, Novossibirsk Cello Festival in Siberia, Montenegro Music Festival, Musical Summits of Gstaad, Musical July of Aulne, “Eté Mosan” Festival, “Midis Minimes” Festival, Flanders Festival, Belgo-Festival, “Concerts de Midi” of Brussels, The “Concerts de Midi” of Liège, etc.

The Trio Carlo Van Neste performs to the "Henri le Boeuf Concert Hall" (Palais des Beaux-Arts" of Brussels), the Royal Conservatory of Brussels Concert Hall, the Jules Bastin Concert Hall in Waterloo, the Novossibirsk Philharmony Concert Hall (Siberia), the "Biarritz Casino Barrière" Concert Hall (France), the Gaveau Concert Hall in Paris, the "Grand Auditorium de l’UNESCO" in Paris, the Suntory Hall of Tokyo, the Nagakute City Cultural Hall (Japan), the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (Israël), etc.

The Trio Carlo Van Neste has recorded four CDs under the label "Pavane Records". An album is dedicated to Czech music which brought together Antonín Dvorák's "Dumky" Trio, and the Bedrich Smetana Trio. A second album is dedicated to german music which brought together Ludwig van Beethoven Trio n° 5 Opus 70 n°1 "Ghost", and the Johannes Brahms Trio n°1 Opus 8. A Third CD called "Tango Revolucionario" is devoted to Astor Piazzolla’s Tangos. And recently, a fourth CD is dedicated to the Trios 1 & 2 to Felix Mendelssohn. These albums has been unanimously acclaimed by the Belgian as well as the International Press.

Wibert Aerts plays a Carlo Giuseppe Testore of 1697 and Alexandre Debrus plays with a Georges Heynberg Cello (1934) "Pegasus", which belonged to the Belgian cellist Eric Feldbusch. This is the cello player from the original Trio Carlo Van Neste.

“This is Dvořák at his deepest and least populist, at least the way this extraordinary trio plays it. The Carlo van Neste Trio’s performance is perfect in every respect, the warm yet crystal-clear sonics enveloping the listener in a warm bath of tonal luxury.

Lynn René Bayley FANFARE (U.S.A)”

"Le plus surprenant, c’est que ce dynamisme ne sacrifie jamais la précision: tous les traits virtuoses sont exécutés avec précision, pas une once de "savonnage" n’est à déplorer. Le plaisir sonore est de haute volée. »

Dominique Joucken , CLASSICA (FRANCE)

"(Trios de Félix Mendelssohn) On admire tout à la fois la maturité de l'approche, la cohésion parfaite des trois instruments, la précision des attaques, la fluidité des traits et des réponses, l'énergie et le lyrisme constants. Une version de référence."

Nicolas Blanmont, LA LIBRE BELGIQUE




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