The Belgian cellist, Roel Dieltiens, studied the piano for seven years, before taking up the cello at the age of 15. In 1979 he started studies with André Messens at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp and the Music Chapel of Queen Elisabeth in Argenteuil in the suburbs of Brussels. The next year he studied with Pierre Fournier at the Geneva Conservatory, and from 1980 to 1982 with André Navarra in Siena, Wolfenbüttel, and at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Detmold. He holds the most prestigious diplomas and academic awards. In 1992 he was acclaimed Artist of the Year by the Flanders International Festival.
As a soloist Roel Dieltiens has appeared with conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Jan Caeyers, Philippe Herreweghe, Peter Maag, Lev Markiz, Josep Pons, Mendi Rodan, Jerzy Semkof, Michel Tabaschnik, Jos van Immerseel, and Reinbert de Leeuw. He performs chamber music with musicians of international renown, such as
the French pianist Frank Braley, and in 1995 he founded the ensemble Explorations.
Nevertheless, Roel Dieltiens is not a “star”. He is a discrete artist, open to discovery by his audience, a seeker who combines utmost thoroughness with great integrity and a passion for music. In search of authenticity, he worked for instance with the Hungarian ethnic music group Muszikas and he also plays the Baroque cello. He has been particularly interested in contemporary music, collaborating with Belgian composers Luc van Hove (a sonata, aria, and chamber concerto), Victor Legley (duo, cello concerto), Jacqueline Fontyn (cello concerto), and the American composer William Bolcom (suite). Whatever he does, it always turns out to be highly valuable and his performances never go unnoticed. For instance, his marvellous musical adventures with Les Ballets C. de la B. (A. Platel: Iets op Bach / Something on Bach and L. Cherkaoui-Dieltiens: Rien de Rien).
His recordings of the Bach solo suites (Accent), the Zoltán Kodály solo sonata (HMF), and virtuoso music by Franchomme (HMF) have won rave reviews in Diapason, Grammophone, Classic CD and Fanfare magazines, and his recordings of cello concerti by Antonio Vivaldi (HMF) won the Diapason d’or Prize of 1998 and the Caecilia Prize of 1999. He has also made CD recordings at Harmonia Mundi France with his Ensemble Explorations.
His specific approach and vision have brought him many prizes and awards, such as the “Time Life Out” Award (UK), Caecilia Award (Belgium), “Masque d’Or” (Canada), Diapason d’Or (France), “Choc” (France), KLARA Music Award 2002. His performances are often taken as a reference. Thus, Roel Dieltiens was the first Belgian musician ever to be elected a member of the jury of the Moscow International Tchaikowsky Competition 2002. He is in high demand at international festivals and master classes.
Roel Dieltiens is professor at the Musikhochschule Zürich Winterthur (Switzerland), and at the Leuven (Belgium) Lemmens Institute.