Jan Michiels regularly performs in prestigious venues all over Europe and Asia. Apart from the ‘ritual recitals’ mentioned below he realized several complete cycles such as all Beethoven Sonatas, all works from the 2nd Viennese School, all Debussy, all Bartok, all Brahms (piano solo and chamber music with piano). As a chamber musician he worked with numerous soloists and ensembles - with Inge Spinette he forms the piano duo YingYang. He worked with conductors such as Angus, Asbury, Baudo, Blunier, Boreycko, Edwards, Eötvös and Herreweghe with orchestras such as a.o. Brussels Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Berliner Symphoniker, Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. Besides, he has been an active collaborator with choreographers such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Sen Hea Ha and Vincent Dunoyer.
Since being a laureate in the Brussels Queen Elisabeth Competition 1991 Jan Michiels has been known for his very personal and multi-layered approach to the piano repertoire, combining old and new in always changing perspectives. Numerous recordings testify his activity – to quote but a few, ‘Lost in Venice with Prometheus’, ‘The War of the Romantics’ or ‘Slavic Soul’ (all published by Fuga Libera) contain music from Bach till today seen from the position of a performer composing his programs through a continuous dialogue with living music history. Jan Michiels worked indeed closely with composers such as a.o. Kurtág, Holliger, Lachenmann, Goeyvaerts, Huber, Groslot and Defoort. One of his main inspiration sources is Luigi Nono, who stood at the centre of his doctorate in the Arts ‘Teatro dell’Ascolto’ (2011).
He studied with Abel Matthys (Brussels) and Hans Leygraf (Berlin). As a pedagogue himself he conducted numerous masterclasses in a.o. Hamburg, Murcia, Szombathely, London, Strasbourg, Montepulciano and Lisbon. He is currently Professor Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.