‘The young freethinker among Dutch pianists’
Dutch music magazine ‘De Nieuwe Muze’
Born in 1992 in Baarn, The Netherlands, into a family of professional musicians: his father is a trumpet player and his mother a violist.
The piano, which he took up at age six, quickly became the faithful companion for expressing a love of music that, until today, thrives as much on opera, orchestra, and chamber music as on the piano repertoire.
After an highly acclaimed recital in a sold-out Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Dutch music magazine De Nieuwe Muze dubbed Nicolas “the young freethinker among Dutch pianists”.
Nicolas has performed at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Royal Festival Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Philharmonie Essen. In addition, other tours have taken him to Cuba, Korea, Italy and France. He has performed with various orchestras under conductors including Jurjen Hempel, Conrad van Alphen, Roderick Cox and Roberto Beltran-Zavala.
In 2013 Nicolas released his debut album with works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms which was favourably reviewed. 2019 saw the release of Nicolas’ second album, Chopin Sonatas No. 2 & 3, released on vinyl and digital platforms. “Van Poucke brings out Chopin’s strong – sometimes even demonic – side, in a both virtuoso and sensitive manner” wrote NRC. Trouw: “He plays these works with great dedication. and with powerful playing, he brings out the grandeur of the works. This is aristocratic music, even in lyrical passages, which Van Poucke makes convincing. He gives space to poetry, without falling into weakness or inappropriate rubato. “
An accomplished chamber musician he has worked with Colin Carr, Christiaan Bor, Claudio Bohorquez, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Godfried Hoogeveen, Gil Sharon, Andreas Reiner, Igor Roma and Pavel Vernikov.
With violist Daniel Palmizio he recorded Bach’s complete Gamba sonatas and Brahms Opus 120 which will be released on Zefir Records. Nicolas has been making music together with his sister, cellist Ella van Poucke, for about as long as he can remember. In season 2018/19 they undertook their most ambitious project to date and performed Beethoven’s complete music for piano & cello in Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in Berlin.
In the middle of lockdown Nicolas embarked on a Schumann project resulting in a series of (social distanced)recitals and an album for TRPTK “Nicolas van Poucke – The Schumann Collection vol. l” released in November 2020 and was met with glowing reviews. The Volkskrant wrote: “Eager, sizzling and astonishing was Robert Schumann’s Carnival by pianist Nicolas van Poucke. As if he had stepped into the shoes of Schumann’s imaginary friends and alter egos, both musically depicted in the work, the dreamy Eusebius and the spirited Florestan; Van Poucke was both.”
In October 2020 Nicolas made his London debut with Chineke! Orchestra and Roderick Cox, performing Beethoven’s third piano concerto in the Royal Festival Hall. The Guardian wrote: “Chineke! gave a secure if stately account of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with Nicolas van Poucke an assured soloist.”
In December Nicolas made his debut with the Nederlands Kamerorkest playing Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4. “His elegant dexterity is impressive, but what resonates the most is how he lets the instrument speak meaningfully. A true poetic musician.” wrote the Volkskrant in the midst of the tour of socially distanced concerts.
Nicolas studied with David Kuyken and Jan Wijn (Conservatory of Amsterdam). Furthermore, he has received the advice of Murray Perahia, Alfred Brendel and Martha Argerich.