Pierre Fontenelle, solo cello of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, is a young Belgian-American musician with an atypical background. When he was 11, he decided to embark on the adventure on his own: with a rental cello and an Internet connection, he learned on his own and quickly realized that he liked to play with others.
At 13, his family left Seattle (USA) for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where he joined the Conservatory and joined the IMEP (Namur, Belgium) three years later, as a Young Talent with Éric Chardon. Assiduous of masterclasses, he participates in various European academies, such as the Pablo Casals Festival, working with Frans Helmerson, Jérôme Pernoo, Gary Hoffman, Marie Hallynck, the Danel Quartet… He is currently continuing his studies with Han Bin Yoon at the Conservatory of Mons, Arts².
His desire to participate in the profession of orchestral musician led him to join the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège as solo cello in August 2019, thus becoming the youngest permanent musician of the orchestra. Previously, he had been a trainee with the Orchester Philharmonique de Luxembourg and had collaborated with the Orchester Philharmonique Royal de Liège (OPRL) and the Orchester de Chambre de Wallonie.
Appointed assistant of the cello class after having obtained a Master degree with the highest distinction at the IMEP, Pierre also holds the Concert Diploma of the Conservatoire de Luxembourg-ville, won unanimously and with the congratulations of the jury. He has already performed as a soloist with several ensembles (Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale, Musique Royale des Guides, Friedrich-Spee Chor, CIMI) and in many venues and festivals (Chapelle Reine Élisabeth, Belgium Cello Society, Festivals de Wallonie, Juillet Musical de Saint-Hubert, Musicorum Festival…). At the 2019 Edmond Baert International Cello Competition, he received the First Edmond Baert Prize and the Feldbusch Prize and, in October 2020, he received the 2nd “Van Hecke” Prize at the Belgium Cello Society International Competition. He is also a finalist in the 2020 edition of the Breughel Competition, postponed to March 2021. Pierre benefits from the Cécile Leleux Grant.
Also passionate about composition, popular and contemporary music, he created with accordionist Cristian Perciun the Duo Made in Belgium, which received the First Prize in chamber music at the Concours International Accordé'Opale (France) and produced regularly around the world. In summer 2019, they are touring China, performing on the island of Taiwan and Shanghai. In 2020, following the departure of Cristian, Luxembourg accordionist Frin Wolter joins the team - the Duo is renamed Duo Kiasma.
In December 2018, Pierre was invited to participate in the traditional Christmas Concert at the Royal Palace, in partnership with the Mint and the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
In 2016, he joined the editorial team of Crescendo Magazine, a French-language online magazine devoted to classical music.