Viviane Spanoghe

Viviane Spanoghe’s career started in 1975, when she won a prize at the Dexia Bank’s “Axion Classics” competition. Her student journeys led her from Courtrai to Ghent with her teacher André Messens, later to Essen’s Folkwang Musikhochschule, where she studied with Maria Kliegel, at the time assistant to János Starker, who took charge of her finishing studies in 1979 at the Indiana University’s Music department in Bloomington. Since 1980, after a prize in the Belgian Radio’s “Tenuto” competition, she performed at home and abroad with such renowned conductors as Georges Octors, Lawrence Foster, Janos Fürst, Leopold Hager, Jan Latham-Koenig, Michael Laus, Marco Guidarini and Martyn Brabbins; in 1999 she was a guest at the Kronberg International Cello Festival.

Viviane Spanoghe was quick to receive János Starker’s message of subtlety, perfectionism and control, developing her own personality over the years. This was clearly perceived in her 1984 recording of the two Shostakovitch cello concertos with Emil Tabakov conducting the Sofia Soloists Symphony Orchestra. Twenty-five years later, this recording has retained its reference value as perceived by international critical acclaim, when in 2010 it was re-edited with the addition of the same composer’s two Sonatas for cello and piano. Other recordings, released on Naxos, Etcetera, Talent, Adda, RGIP, and especially her recording of Bach’s 6 Suites for solo Cello released on Solal, have been highly commended.

In addition to her extensive Classical repertoire, Viviane Spanoghe has mastered many unjustly neglected or unknown works of the past. Contemporary composers of importance in her country such as Franklin Gyselynck, Jan van Landeghem, Frederik van Rossum, Peter Swinnen, Annelies van Parys and Mark Matthys, count on her for premieres of their works, many of which have been recorded and dedicated to her. For her tireless promotion of Belgian music abroad, she was awarded the “Gebroeders Darche” prize in 2005. In 2020 she received the Trophée Fuga from the Union of Belgian Composers.

Her duo with the pianist André De Groote has, during the last 30 years, been internationally praised, in Europe, in Japan and the US, for memorable concerts and recordings. Their latest CD of Brahms’ Sonatas for cello and piano (Talent records) was released in 2011 - a crowning fermata for a specially intense partnership.

Viviane Spanoghe’s love of chamber music has been shared with a great number of eminent international musicians such as Yuzuko Horigome, Henry Raudales, Augustin Dumay, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Gérard Caussé, Denis Pascal, François-Joel Thiollier and the Chilingirian Quartet. For many years, she was herself a member of the Vega Ensemble, the Aleko Piano Trio, the Bellerophon Ensemble and the Belgian Chamber Artists. After more than 30 years' intensive concertizing and recording with her closest partner André De Groote, Viviane Spanoghe has since played many recitals and concerts with other great pianists such as Luc Devos, Jean-Marc Luisada, Denis Pascal, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden and Boyan Vodenitcharov. Her duo with pianist Jan Michiels was founded in 2018, and their first CD was enthusiastically praised as an example of musical maturity. She also enjoyed sharing her experience with younger pianists such as Dimitry Gladkov, Anaït Karpova and Yuuya Tsuda. During the summer of 2013 she undertook a tour of Japan with the violinist Yuzuko Horigome, followed by the recording of Brahms' Double Concerto in Prague, with the Czeck Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta in the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum.

Viviane Spanoghe is Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the Royal Brussels Conservatoire.