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Benjamin-Joseph Steens (Harpsichord, Organ)

Born: Bonheiden, Belgium

The Belgian organist and harpsichordist, Benjamin-Joseph Steens, studied after his secondary education musicology at the Catholic University of Leuven and at the University of the Sorbonne Paris-IV, where he earned his Master’s degree with distinction in 1994. At the same time, the extensive musical formation that he underwent at the Lemmens Institute (Leuven) and at the Conservatory of Orleans (under François-Henri Houbart's supervision) led him to the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris (CNSM), where his studies won him 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. He obtained, with the highest distinction, the higher Diploma for Harpsichord in Juni 2003. In addition, while there he procured the “Certificat d’Aptitude” for Organ (department of pedagogy, 2004). In 1995 he obtained his Regional First Prize with a commendation of the jury. In 1999 he obtained his basso continuo Prize at the Paris 'Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse' (CNSM), and in 2000 he was awarded, with unanimity and honour, the 'Diplôme Supérieur de Formation d'Orgue.

Benjamin-Joseph Steens’ attraction to antique keyboards was enriched by his contact with Jos van Immerseel, with whom he improved 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 recital and to use it in chamber music (notably with Jacques-Antoine Bresh, traverso).

In October 2000 Benjamin-Joseph Steens was appointed, with unanimity, as the first organ-holder of the instrument newly built by Cattiaux for Saint-Remi's Basilica in Rheims. His natural curiosity for all repertories leads him also to take an interest in the music of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and to collaborate with composers in preparing such creations as the Ricercar for organ, by Bert van Herck, at the Saint Remi Basilica of Rheims on June 11, 2006.

Titular of the Cattiaux great organ in the Saint Remi Basilica of Rheims of which he is also curator, responsible for the Bernard Aubertin organ in Vertus (The Marne), Benjamin-Joseph Steens appears regularly as a soloist in Europe for recitals, chamber music concerts or orchestral productions. His performances are regularly recorded for radio or television. He is also active as a basso continuo player. After his appointment in Rheims he has released several CD's.

In February 2002 Benjamin-Joseph Steens obtained his certificate of Ancient Music Professor. In April 2003 he was appointed basso continuo Professor at the Rheims National Regional Higher Music and Dance School. He teaches there also organ, harpsichord. He also teaches organ and harpsichord in at the conservatory of Levallois (Parisienne region).and in Vertus (using an organ built by Bernard Aubertin).


Source: Benjamin-Joseph Steens Websites
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2010)

Benjamin-Joseph Steens: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Homepage Benjamin-Joseph Steens (Official Website 1)
Benjamin-Joseph Steens (Official Website 2)

Benjamin-Joseph Steens (Official Website 3)
Baenjamin-Joseph Streebs (EPR Classics)

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Last update: ýJanuary 29, 2013 ý14:06:53