Since being a laureate in the Brussels Queen Elizabeth 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 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. G.Kurtág, H.Holliger, H.Lachenmann, K.Goeyvaerts, K.Huber, R. Groslot and K.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)
'What's your main character trait ?' ' Nostalgia for the future'
He regularly performs in prestigious venues all over Europe and Asia. Apart from the 'ritual recitals' mentioned above 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 chambermusician he worked with numerous soloists and ensembles - with Inge Spinette he forms the piano duo YinYang. He worked with conductors such as D.Angus, S.Asbury, S.Baudo, S.Blunier, A.Boreycko, S.Edwards, P.Eötvös, P.Herreweghe, H.Holliger, R.Groslot, G.Guerrero, O.Kamu, J.Latham-Koenig, J.Märkl, I.Meylemans, Y.Nézet-Séguin, K.Ono, J.Phillips, L.Pfaff, A.Rahbari, P.Rundl, E.Siebens, M.Soustrot, D.Stern, M.Tabachnik, A.Tamayo, L.Zagrosek and H.Zender 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, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Ensemble Modern, Prometheus Ensemble, Champ d'Action, Solisti del Vento, Ensemble Recherche, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Besides of that he has been an active collaborator with choreographers such as A.T. De Keersmaeker, Sen Hea Ha and V.Dunoyer.
He studied with A.Matthys (Brussels) and H.Leygraf (Berlin). As a pedagogue himself he conducted numerous masterclasses in a.o. Hamburg, Murcia, Szombathely, Budapest, London, Strasbourg, Montepulciano and Lisbon. He is currently Professor in the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel and guestprofessor in the Universität der Künste Berlin.