Olsi LEKA, Cellist, born in Tirana, Albania, in 1980
He started studying the cello at the age of 6. During his studies, he twice obtained the first prize at the ‘Young Virtuosi’ competition (junior and senior categories), the first prize at the ‘Lyons Club Interpretation Competition’ in Belgium and the second prize at the ‘International Music Competition’ in Cyprus.
Aged 24, during his last year at the conservatory, he was appointed Cello Solo – First Cellist at the National Orchestra of Belgium. This allowed him to work with a multitude of conductors and soloists of international renown like Valery Gergiev, Walter Weller, Hugh Wolf, Pinchas Zukerman, Vadim Repin, Misha Maisky, Hélène Grimaud and others.
Since then, he performed in chamber music appearances in numerous places and festivals such as ‘Schiermonnikoog Festival’ in Netherlands, the ‘Different trains Festival’ in Albania, the ‘Gjövig Musicfest’ in Norway , the ‘Excellent Concerts’ in the Netherlands and others.
He performed in recitals with the pianists Daniel Blumenthal, Alexandar Madzar, François-René Duchable, Adam Laloum, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, Desar Sulejmani and Peter Caelen.
As a soloist, he played the concertos of P.I. Tchaikovsky, A. Dvorak, R. Schumann, E.Lalo, M. Bruch, W. Bargiel. J.Brahms and more.
The interpretation of the concerto ‘Tout un monde lointain …’ by the French composer Henri Dutilleux was another career highlight. After preparation of the oeuvre with the composer in his Parisian Ile Saint-Louis studio, the work was played and recorded live in Brussels in his presence. The composer said it was one of the best interpretations he had ever heard.
In 2007 he was appointed cello Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.
In 2015 he was appointed cello Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
He is regularly invited for cello master classes in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Italy and France.
He plays an exceptional cello of the famous Italian violin maker Raffaele Gagliano, generously made available to him by the Eric Feldbusch Foundation. This instrument was given to Eric Feldbush in 1965 by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium for the occasion of the creation of the “Queen Elisabeth” piano trio.
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