3rd Prize in ” International Competition for Young Concert Performers ” in Douai, 2nd Grand Prix and Gustav Mahler Special Prize at the International ” Prague Spring 2000″ Competition, Best Hope Award offered by SACEM at the 7th Rostropovich international cello Competition , 5th prize in the Pablo Casals international cello competition in Kronberg / Frankfurt (Germany), Winner of the Pro Musicis prize, laureate of the Banques Populaires Group Foundation ( Natixis ) and the Meyer Foundation, cellist Sébastien van Kuijk is one of the most brilliant musicians of his generation .
After studying with Jean-Marie Gamard and Philippe Müller in Paris, he receives advices from maestros such as Frans Helmerson, Natalia Chakoswskaya, Gary Hoffman, Maria Kliegel , Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, Davis Geringas, Jens Peter Maintz, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Pieter Wiespelwey, Gerhardt Schulz and Günter Pichler. He has appeared as soloist with, among others, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Republican Guard Paris, the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bohemia, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Cello Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Paris, the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, the Besançon Orchestra, Douai Orchestra, the Auvergne Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Arie van Beek, Nicolas Farine, Emmanuel Krivine, JeanJacques Kantorow and Karl Anton von Rickenbacher. He also performs in recital or solo around the world on major international stages: Salle Gaveau, Auditorium du Louvre, Radio France, Cité de la Musique, Musée d’Orsay, Théâtre des ChampsElysées, Arsenal de Metz, Rudolfinum Hall in Prague, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Casals Hall in Tokyo, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Seoul Art Center, Wigmore Hall in London etc. In August 2007, the Holland Music Sessions invited him to join their “New Masters on Tour ” program for the 2008-2009 concert season. This allowed him to perform at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, The Hague, Bergen etc. He also appeared at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad (Switzerland) in February 2008, patronized this year by cellist Mischa Maisky and at the ChampsElysées Theater in September of the same year as a soloist accompanied by the Paris Chamber Orchestra. Since that year, he became laureate of the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation. Because of his passion for chamber music, he performs with partners such as Renaud Capuçon, Bertrand Chamayou, Dana Ciocarlie, Alexandra Conunova, Jérôme Ducros, Augustin Dumay, Viviane Hagner, Florent Héau , Gary Hoffman, Marie-Josephe Jude, David Lively, Paul Meyer, Julia Migenes, Solenne Païdassi, Blythe Teh Engstroem, Alexandre Tharaud, Cédric Tiberghien, the Ébène quartet, the Danel quartet, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Wu Qian, Daishin Kashimoto and others. His vital need to share with his audience new music led him to work with many of today’s composers. He was the dedicatee of the Sonata for solo cello by Karol Beffa. Nicolas Bacri also dedicated to him in 2004 his Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra and Thierry Escaich a piece for solo cello named “Folia”. After collaborating with composers Gyorgy Kurtag and Pierre Boulez, Sébastien also worked with Henri Dutilleux ‘s “Trois Strophes sur Le nom de Sacher” and actually played at the 90th birthday of the Maestro’s concert organized in 2006 at the Maison de Radio-France Paris in his presence.
Sébastien van Kuijk is also interested in mixing artistic expression forms. In 2012, he participated in a project that combined bold staging by Stephan Grögler, lighting design by Daan Roosegaarde and Didier Henry, and music around the work of Arnold Schoenberg’s ” Pierrot Lunaire ” placing the work in its original context of a Berlin cabaret atmosphere. He performed alongside Julia Migenes , Nicolas Farine, Aleksandar Tasic, Solenne Païdassi , Blythe Teh Engstroem, Loïc Schneider in Switzerland. This project led him particularly to the art of improvisation. Beside his solo career, he founded with his brother Nicolas, violinist, the Van Kuijk Quartet. In September 2013, the young quartet won 1st Prize and the Audience Award at the International String Quartet Competition in Trondheim (Norway), allowing them to perform in Norway, Denmark and Germany in upcoming musical seasons in various prestigious festivals. Sébastien van Kuijk also became principal cellist of the Geneva International Orchestra. His varied experience then allows him to be requested by the Geneva and Lausanne High Schools in order to prepare the cello section of a common orchestra formed by the two schools to perform a concert conducted by Pierre Boulez / Thierry Fischer with a musical program combining among others “The Rite Spring” Stravinsky and “Notations” Boulez . Since 2016, Sébastien has also been appointed new principal cellist in Aurora Orchestra London. Several orchestral and chamber music projects are already planned with the ensemble for the next seasons in halls such as Kings Place and Royal Festival Hall London, Royal Concertgebow Amsterdam, Bilbao, etc. Sébastien van Kuijk has made several recordings with a variety of programs including works for cello and piano by Mendelssohn with pianist Dana Ciocarlie, released in early May 2009 in the INTRADA label. In 2015, he recorded with Solenne Païdassi and Laurent Wagschal the underestimated Louis Thirion piano trio for Timpani label. He also recorded in 2016 for Klarthe/ Harmonia Mundi label Nicolas Bacri’s “Four Seasons” concertos with François Leleux , Valeriy Sokolov, Adrien Lamarca and Besançon Orchestra, which received a highly critical acclaim. Sébastien plays on a cello attributed to François FENDT from late 18th/early 19th century lent by the French Instrumental Fund .