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01 August 2019 1:10pm

Jessica Ryckewaert is one of the most specialised soloist percussionists in contemporary music in Belgium, playing premières of works for marimba, vibraphone and percussion, with live electronics, which have been written for her by the composers.

Jessica is a soloist and chamber musician who is one of the most charismatic percussionist recognized in her native Belgium and also abroad, in contemporary & classical music scene.

Her finely elegant performance and her sense of exquisite musicality always touch the audience profoundly. Always looking for new technical and musical challenges in her performances, it is no wonder why composers ask her to perform their works for world premieres.

Born in Huy, Belgium, Jessica began her musical career at the age of 6, in percussion and piano. Received the Highest Diplomas, with the highest distinction, in percussion and chamber music, at the Conservatoires of Liège and Brussels. In addition Jessica took advanced classes at the Strasbourg National Conservatoire and studied with Emmanuel Séjourné, for marimba and vibraphone. Here she obtained her specialisation diploma with the congratulations of the jury.

In 1996-97, Jessica Ryckewaert won the First Prizes for piano and percussion in the National "Crédit Communal" Competition. Early in her studies, attended numerous master-classes with artists such as Michael Udow, John Beck, Leigh Howard Stevens and Dave Samuels.

In 2002, received third Prize at the International Vibraphone Competition in Clermont-Ferrand.

After starting her professional career in different Belgian orchestras, Jessica quickly turned towards the world of contemporary music. Has acquired a vast experience in chamber music by working notably with Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles and the Ictus Ensemble. Jessica has performed around the world in New York, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin and has taken part in the premières of works by Nova, Romitelli, Schollhorn, De Mey, Fontyn, Fourgon, Ledoux, Bartholomée.

In parallel with her career as a chamber musician, Jessica works as a soloist. In 2002, she toured Canada and played the Concerto for Vibraphone and Orchestra by Emmanuel Séjourné. In 2004, was invited to give concerts and workshops in Singapore. 2005 was invited to play in the Senate for the Belgian Royal Family, a televised event. From 2005 she opened up her horizons to the United Kingdom by giving solo recitals at festivals, including Plymouth, Cambridge and Oxford.

The same year also saw Jessica begin working with the CRFMW (Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie) and on the premières of works by Pierre Bartholomée and Denis Bosse, pieces especially written for her to perform. Has taken part in various festivals such as Images Sonores, Ars Musica, Stuck Leuven, with these pieces and Day Dreams, Ph. Boesmans. In 2006 Jessica recorded a marimba part for a character in an animated film of Disney/Pixar. Jessica was invited to play a series of concerts with the International Pop/Reggae group UB40.

In 2009, Jessica released her first cd, Percutronique, under the record label Fuga Libera (Harmonia Mundi, UK). The cd contains works by Boesmans, Bartholomée and Gobert, for marimba, vibraphone and live electronics. Percutronique has received great reviews and was nominated for the "Octaves de la Musique 2010" in Brussels.

"One of the most fascinating instruments in modern music, the marimba, in the hands of its most seductive specialist, the excellent Jessica Ryckewaert" "here comes a disc that will inspire you with a passion for percussion, electronicss and the 21st century!" Outhere (2009)

2010 Jessica was interviewed by Classic FM magazine. A full page feature appeared in the June 2010 edition, under the title 'Hot Property'.

Jessica was commissioned by the "Dexia Classics" Competition to compose a piece for percussion. The composition titled "Contrasts" (Published by Metropolis), for vibraphone and percussion, was created in Brussels in November 2010.

As well as being a Professor of percussion at Conservatoire Imep, Namur, Belgium, Jessica is preparing concerts in Belgium the UK and Paris. Alongside this is also preparing her new cd, which is scheduled for release in spring 2012.

Jessica is artist endorsed by Adams Musical Instruments for marimba and vibraphone and by Alternate Mode for MalletKat.


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