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Biography Scholtes & Janssens

"Like synchronized swimmers, the two pianists breath, dive and reach the water in exactly the same moment" - BN de Stem, January 2009.
"Superb teamwork – two as one" – SoundWordSight Arts Magazine, mei 2012.

Lestari Scholtes (1984) and Gwylim Janssens (1985) have been a piano duo since 2003. Currently they are recognized as one of the most promising piano duos of their generation, and leading piano duo from the Netherlands.

Their 2009 Carnegie Hall debut, as part of the IBLA Grand Prize winners USA tour, was praised as "it could well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so big and well integrated was the sound. Terrific duo in top form". The duo is well known for their brilliant sound and marvellous technical skills, presenting very intense and energetic performances. This has lead them to performances throughout The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Georgia, Israel, Dubai, the USA, Chile, Bolivia, Zimbabwe and Mongolia. They are regularly invited in venues like the Amsterdam Concertgebouw; performances have been broadcast by radio and television in several countries, among them Dutch Radio4, BBC3 and Belgian Klara Radio. The duo performed several times with the Orchestra of Brabant and the Israel Symphony Orchestra. Festivals include e.g. the Festival of Bath, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, TonLagen-Dresdner Festival der zeitgenössischen Musik, Braunlage Maikonzerte, Basilica Festival of Flanders, Klevische Klaviersommer, Almere Chamber Music Festival and the International Piano Duo Festival Poland.

In May 2010, the Scholtes-Janssens Piano Duo won the very prestigious Vriendenkrans Competition of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. They were presented as the first winners of the Radio4 Talent of the Year 2010. The finals, live broadcasted on the Dutch national classical radio, followed after a successful tour in the concert series 'The Debut' in all major concert halls of The Netherlands. In the preliminary rounds of the competition, in autumn 2008, the duo won already the Radio4 Scholarship. In 2010, the duo won also the Concours Musical de France in Paris in the highest category, the 3rd prize in the IVth International Piano Competition of the Republic of San Marino “Allegro Vivo” and the 2nd prize in the 14th Torneo Internazionale di Musica in Verona. In 2011 they were winners of the 12th International Web Concert Hall Competition, receiving one of the five awarded Honorable Mentions.

The duo has won all prizes at the International Chamber Music Competition Almere 2009, The Netherlands. They were winners of the jury prize, the audience prize and the KRO Radio Young Talent Award. In the summer of 2009 the duo has won the second prize at the International Concerto Competition of the Tel Hai International Piano Master Classes in Israel. In 2009, they also won the Rabobank Young Talent Prize. Other prizes included the Ravel Award at the IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition 2008 in Sicily, Italy and the Special Prize of the Music Academy Bialystok at the Fourth International Piano Duo Competition 2008 in Poland, the Sara Lahat Duo Prize for the most outstanding duo of the Tel-Hai International Piano Master Classes 2007 in Israel, and a first prize at the Princess Christina Competition 2003 and 2004.

In April and May 2009 The Scholtes-Janssens Piano Duo has made a concert tour throughout the United States on the invitation of the IBLA International Music Foundation. They have performed in North Dakota, Virginia, Arkansas and New York, where they had their debut in Carnegie Hall. In May 2012, the duo returned to Carnegie Hall, where they got great acclaim by audience and press: “Superb teamwork – two as one – with excellent, turn-on-a-dime transitions between episodes”, as it was written about their performance of Stravinsky's Petrouchka.

Lestari and Gwylim are regular jurors at the IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition on Sicily, Italy. They have given master classes at among others the Music Academy of Minot State University in North Dakota (USA), the Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago de Chile, the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz (Bolivia), la Academia Nacional de Música Man Césped in Cochabamba (Bolivia), and the Music and Dance College in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia).

As a duo they are studying with the piano duo Sivan Silver & Gil Garburg at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien (University of Music and Drama) in Hanover, Germany. Individually they both graduated cum laude in the conservatories of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Together they have taken many master classes with e.g. Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Tamir, Victor Derevianko, Alon Goldstein, Peter Takács, Paul Lewis, Jean-Bernard Pommier and Menahem Pressler. The latter was broadcast on Dutch national television.

In November 2010 they released their debut CD with works by Rachmaninov, Debussy and Ravel, under the label of QuattroLive. In May 2014 their second cd 'Paris!' was released under the label of Etcetera Records.