“The Belgian musician Roeland Hendrikx is a superb clarinettist.
It is as simple as that… His tone is limpid and yet voluptuous, his breath control amazing.”
British Music Society Newsletter, about the Finzi recording
Precision, poetry, and an irresistible feeling for narrative are key talents which fuel the career of acclaimed Belgian clarinettist Roeland Hendrikx.
Hendrikx is in high demand as a concert soloist, and he has appeared with a great selection of acclaimed orchestras. Especially noteworthy was his recent Mozart tour across Flanders and The Netherlands with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Edward Gardner.
Roeland Hendrikx’ presence on concert stages around the world should not obscure his deep love of chamber music. Hendrikx has cooperated with acclaimed colleagues like Severin Von Eckardstein, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort, Jan Michiels, the Panocha Quartet, Tempera Quartet, Doric Quartet, Danel Quartet, Silesian String Quartet and the Berliner Philharmoniker Streichquintett. In 2015, Roeland founded the Roeland Hendrikx Ensemble, which focuses on the rich repertoire for clarinet, piano and strings.
“Clarinet virtuoso Roeland Hendrikx pursues the pure and spontaneous sound of the clarinet
in order to conjure up emotion and imagination on the stage, steering clear of all longing for whatever
intellectual dimension. He serves music, he doesn’t dominate it. Roeland Hendrikx created
his own ensemble to invest this naturalistic attitude in the unfolding of the rich repertoire for clarinet.”
Klara, Klassiek Leeft, by Bart Stouten
Hendrikx’s latest release “The clarinet as prima donna” features clarinet concertos and opera arias by Carl Maria von Weber with the Rheinische Philharmonie and award-winning arranger Andreas Tarkmann, who fashioned a new cadenza for the first concerto, and recomposed Leise, leise, the central aria from Der Freischütz, for clarinet and orchestra.
Roeland Hendrikx’s other recording activities bear testimony to an unusual versatility. In 2018, he enlisted the venerable London Philharmonic Orchestra to enregister the Mozart, Finzi and Bruch concertos, an accomplishment that “had it all”, according to Diapason: “accuracy, lyricism, elegance”. Following this large-scale extravaganza, Hendrikx scaled down to smaller line-ups. In 2020 he tackled Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint in an immersive recording adventure (called The Harmony of Isolation), followed by a crossover project which fused Saint-Saëns Carnaval des Animaux and Apollinaire’s literary Bestiaire in a chamber-musical Animal Farm, hailed by France Musique as a “magnificent rearrangement (…) of compositions at once musical, pictorial, and poetic”.
Roeland has many acclaimed chamber music recordings to his credit, including the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets (“chamber music at its best” – De Standaard), the Debussy and Poulenc Sonatas (“a delight” –Gramophone), and the Clarinet Quintet by Piet Swerts (“infinitely seductive” – Resmusica).
"In a letter to Clara Wieck, Brahms once wrote that “nobody blows an instrument better than this Mühlfeld here”.
I wonder what Brahms would say to Clara had he heard Roeland [Hendrikx].
He didn’t live to hear it. We do.”
Muziek en Woord, about the Brahms recording.
Roeland was principal clarinet with the Belgian National Orchestra and with the Orchestra of La Monnaie for many years (1998-2017).
In addition to his solo and chamber-musical activities, Roeland Hendrikx is a dedicated teacher. He is professor of clarinet at the LUCA School of Arts in Leuven and at the Maastricht Conservatory. He is also a prolific masterclass teacher.