New CD

Paint Me Blue


Classical Guitar Magazine

about "Paint me Blue"

Claeys travels confidently down a jazzy road, deftly covering a nice variety of unfailingly melodic 20th century tunes. 

This is a very impressive outing from a guitarist to watch for. I’ve been listening to this disc a lot.

- Blair Jackson

editor of ClassicalGuitarMagazine

Paint me Blue

The start for the repertoire of my first recording, had to be the music that I fell in love with during my childhood. I vividly remember listening to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue evening after evening on repeat. This music, between the classical world and sound of jazz, also brought me to the preludes and fugues of Shostakovich, in the vigorous recording of Keith Jarrett. Never will I forget my astonishment when I found out this wasn't just a great classical pianist, but a jazz improviser of unseen level. The 3 songs I arranged, all appeared on memorabel live recordings of his solo concerts. In fact, all of the tracks on the cd carry a very personal story. Thielemans, Reinhardt and Brel represent the best of Belgian jazz and popular music, while Brouwer in my opinion is the most important living composer for classical guitar. Recording the Porter interpretation by  Joe Pass  on the other hand, is a hommage to my first guitar teacher, Geert Claessens. He often showed me new recordings to listen to and Virtuoso by Pass was one of the first cd's he ever lent me.

  1. J. Thielemans

  2. K. Jarrett

  3. G. Gershwin

  4. K.Jarrett

  5. J. Brel

  6. L. Brouwer

  7. C. Porter - J. Pass

  8. K. Jarrett


Paint My Heart Red

Rhapsody in Blue

My Song

Ne Me Quitte Pas
Variations on Nuages by D. Reinhardt
Night and Day
Köln Concert Part IIC


News & Concerts

Dec 02, 2019

Hommage à Brouwer


Kamermuziek voor gitaar en strijkkwartet met 3 kwintetten van Leo Brouwer ter gelegenheid van zijn 80ste verjaardag. Inleiding door maestro Brouwer zelf!

Samen met Quatuor Hermes, met op het programma het voor ons geschreven nieuwe Kwintet "In Memoriam Alejo Carpentier".

Nov 29, 2019

Hommage à Brouwer


Wereldpremiere van nieuw Quintet voor giaar & strijkkwartet van Leo Brouwer, ter gelegenheid van zijn 80ste verjaardag. Samen met Quatuor Hermes.

Nov 22, 2019


Solo recital

Nazomer concertreeks Oud-Heverlee, in de mooie Sint-Anna kerk.

Aug 26, 2019

@ Gent

Solo recital

Music by Brouwer, Albeniz, Granados, Porter, ... in Auberge du Pecheur @ Sint-Martens-Latem

May 04, 2019

solo recital

solo recital at beautiful old venue in Mechelen

music by Gershwin, Brouwer, Morel, Piazzolla & more

Jan 26, 2018

Concert & Masterclass

Masterclass (14h30) and concert (18h) organized by Legato Kortrijk

Jan 27, 2018

Private concert

@ rotary Gent

Feb 13, 2018

Solo Recital

Lunchtime recital @ MIM Brussels (Music Instrument Museum)

Mar 02, 2018

Solo Recital

Concert in the "Sint-Anna" concert series in Oud-Heverlee

Mar 16, 2018


Concierto del sur with "Da Capo" chamber orchestra in Gent

Mar 18, 2018

private concert

@ Brussels

Mar 23, 2018


Concierto del sur with "Da Capo" chamber orchestra in Eeklo

Apr 20, 2018

New concert series


Quintet by M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Hermes String Quartet in Antwerp (Amuz concert hall)

Apr 25, 2018

new concert series


Quintet by M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Hermes String Quartet in Leuven

May 02, 2018

piazzolla sextet @ Tienen


Music by Astor Piazzolla for vibraphone, bandoneon, violin, guitar, piano & double bass

May 15, 2018

@ Brussels

Private concert

Private solo recital in Brussels 

Oct 04, 2018

@ University Leuven

Private recital

Emiraatsviering prof. Patrick Wollants

Nov 21, 2018

with Jazz Trio


Concert program on the edge of classical and jazz,

including the Concerto for guitar & Jazz trio by Claude Bolling

with Bart Van Caenegem, Carlo Willems & Jens Similox-Tohon

Feb 15, 2019

solo recital

solo concert program, with music by Brouwer, Morel, Mehldau

Mar 16, 2019

Laureate concert Rotary Gent

Aperitief Concert

Laureate concert @ the beautiful old Parnassus church in Gent

music by Brouwer, Morel, Gershwin, Piazzolla

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CD Review by Classical Guitar Magazine

Belgian guitarist Claeys travels confidently down a jazzy road on this self-produced disc, deftly covering a nice variety of unfailingly melodic 20th century tunes, including one each from fellow Belgians Toots Thielemans (the great chromatic harmonica player; the arrangement is Roland Dyens’) and singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, and a third piece by Leo Brouwer based on Belgium-born French guitarist Django Reinhardt’s Nuages.  American pianist Keith Jarrett is represented by 3 lovely pieces, one being a haunting extraction from his still-astonishing all-improvised Köln Concert album from 1975; a great choice! There are also a pair of American “standards”: Cole Porter’s Night and Day (in jazz guitarist Joe Pass’ arrangement) and the lengthy (18:47!), multi-textured Gershwin masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue. It’s an ambitious selection, but Claeys handles it with smooth assurance. All in all this is a very impressive outing from a guitarist to watch for. I’ve been listening to this disc a lot.

See more on classicalguitarmagazine

CD Review by Klassik-Heute

Artistic Quality: 9/10

Sonic Quality: 9/10

Overall Impression: 9/10

See more on Klassik-Heute


About Koen

"During my long teaching career in the classical music scene, I have never heard someone playing as musically, virtuosic and technically precise…"

-  Roland Broux, professor classical guitar,

Luca school of arts Leuven & Royal Flemish Conservatory Antwerp

Andres Segovia, the great maestro of the classical guitar, said that “the guitar is like an orchestra, to which we could look with the reverse side of binoculars”. He meant that every instrument of the orchestra is inside the guitar, but in a smaller sound size. It is precisely that magical sound and captivating timbre that prompted Koen to start playing the guitar. Moreover, it remains the inspiration for Koen to keep on exploring all the boundaries of the classical guitar, as one can notice on his first recording including own arrangements and transcriptions of songs by Keith Jarrett, George Gershwin and Jacques Brel. 

Koen, born in 1990 in Leuven (Belgium), is regarded as one of the greater guitar talents, since he won the national competition for professional guitarists as youngest participant in 2010. But also internationally, Koen is an acknowledged and award-winning musician, as a laureate of several prestigious classical guitar competitions in Spain, Cuba, Germany and the Netherlands. This made him play in beautiful concert venues, as for example the Teatro Nacional de Cuba and Memorial José Marti in Havana. In his homeland, he was already privileged to play a solo recital in the grand hall of the ‘Palais des Beaux Arts’ (Bozar) in Brussels.




Koen took his first guitar classes at the age of eight, at the local music academy in Oud-Heverlee where he was taught by the renowned guitarist Geert Claessens. Koen graduated with him in 2008 with greatest distinction. Already in 2004, at the age of 14, he became a laureate at the Kiwanis competition in Aalst, Belgium. In the same year, Koen performed his first solo concerts and was broadcasted on the national radio station, Radio 1, with works of Bach and Villa-Lobos. With the inspiring support of Geert and his second teacher Roland Broux, Koen successfully participated in quite a few classical guitar competitions.

In 2007 he won the first prize at the Vlamo soloist contest for all string instruments and became laureate at the Dexia Axion Classics in Brussels. The next year, Koen won the first prize at the international youth guitar contest of Twente (Netherlands). In 2009, he won the second youth prize in Petrer (Spain) and in April 2010, he became finalist of the international guitar contest of Gevelsberg (Germany), only at the age of 19. 

In the same period in 2010, Koen won the Belgian national guitar contest in Gent, where he also won the prize for chamber music (duo guitar and flute) and the best interpretation of the compulsory, new created work by Annette Kruisbrink. As youngest participant between graduated professional guitarists, Koen was praised by the internationally renowned jury as a complete musician, being highly virtuosic and a sensitive narrator through the music. 

International highlights were his first place at the 2010 international guitar contest of Zwolle (Netherlands), and his third place at the 2014 international guitar festival & competition in Havana (Cuba). This festival has a great tradition, since it was founded by the Cuban maestro Leo Brouwer.

In 2013 Koen graduated with greatest distinction at the Luca School of Arts (Leuven) under the guidance of Roland Broux. He continued his studies with Joaquin Clerch and Rafael Aguirre at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule Düsseldorf. Today, Koen teaches at the music academies of Oud-Heverlee and Tienen.



My Song - Keith Jarrett
Bluesette - Jean "Toots" Thielemans
Liebestraum, Franz Liszt



TEL. |0032 (0)484 125 114


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