The Belgian violist Kaat Schraepen’s (2000) attention was immediately caught hearing the deep and warm sound of the viola, leading her to pursue this passion from the age of 7. Awarded in several national and international competitions, Kaat Schraepen stands up as one of the most remarkable viola players of her generation. By taking part in masterclasses and festivals with renowned musicians all over Europe and performing a broad repertoire that goes from Classical to Contemporary music and even jazz, she works to put the viola on the map as a solo instrument.
Nowadays Kaat is studying her master with Mikhail Zemtsov at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (The Netherlands). In 2020 she completed her bachelor studies (10 with distinction from the jury) with Julia Dinerstein at Conservatorium Maastricht (The Netherlands). At the moment, she is focused on developing a broad classical solo repertoire to perform in events during the next season. To achieve this she regularly attends masterclasses. Next to this, she is very active in competitions, auditions, and recitals. Next to her soloist activity, she also works on going deeper into the field of chamber music by attending prestigious masterclasses, such as ‘Stift Musical Encounters’ and the ‘Musica Mundi Chamber Music Course and Festival’, and working on a varied chamber music repertoire.
Kaat has won prizes in several national and international competitions. In 2014 and 2015, she was a Prize Winner in the ‘Prinses Christina Concours Zuid 2’ (Maastricht). In 2015, she received a first prize with the mention ‘Excellent’ in the ‘European Competition for Young Soloists’ in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In 2017, she was First Prize Winner in the ‘Britten Altvioolconcours’ in the Netherlands, Second Prize Winner in the ‘9° Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Musicale “Giovani Musicisti – Città di Treviso”’ and First Prize Winner in the ‘International Competition “Salzburg” Grand Prize Virtuoso 2017’. In the same year, she also won the ‘Premio Fiorella Benetti Brazzale’ during a masterclass in Bassano del Grappa (Italy). In 2018, Kaat received a third prize in the 3. Rising Stars Grand Prix 2018 International Music Competition Berlin, the third prize in the MiN International Music Competition for Strings in Narvik (Norway) and became a laureate in the 4th International Music Competition Triomphe de l’Art (Belgium). She won a silver medal in the Vienna International Music Competition in 2019.
Highlights from past seasons include concerts at the Aurora Festival (Sweden), the Asiagofestival (Italy) and the ‘Vinterfestuka’ (Norway), performances in halls such as the Mozarteum (Salzburg) and the Schumann- and Mendelssohnhaus (Leipzig). As a soloist, she performed in Amsterdam with the Britten Jeugd Strijkorkest. As a chamber musician, she has shared the stage with artists such as Stephan Picard, Eszter Haffner, Mikhail Zemtsov, Claudio Bohorquez, Ilya Grubert, Johannes Fleischmann, Daniel Rowland, Maja Bogdanovic, Nino Gvetadze, Lilli Maijala, Duccio Beluffi, Julius Berger and Øivind Nussle.
Passionate about improving and learning Kaat regularly attends masterclasses all over Europe with masters such as Michael Kugel, Ilan Schneider, Alexander Zemtsov, Mikhail Zemtsov, Lilli Maijala, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Ludmila Kugel, Tatjana Masurenko, Yuri Bondarev, Julia Dinerstein, and Dana Zemtsov. Her love for chamber music leads her to work with many experienced chamber artists such as Jérôme Pernoo, Vladimir Perlin, Ronald van Spaendonck, Marc Danel, Eberhard Felz, Heime Müller, Jan Talich, Roman Patočka, Radim Sedmidubsky, Alexander Zemtsov, Daniel Rowland, Maja Bogdanovic, Nino Gvetadze, Lilli Maijala, Henk Guittart, Anastasia Safonova, and Marc Tooten.
Kaat has gained orchestral experience as a member of several youth orchestras. These orchestras, being the LOJM (Youth Symphony Orchestra Limburg) in Hasselt, the Youth Symphony Orchestra Amikejo in Maastricht, and the LGT Young Soloists. The last one, giving concerts all over the world.
Kaat plays on a modern instrument by Belgian maker Thomas Meuwissen, built in 2012, named Miss Ma(r)ple.