Gilbert is a director emeritus at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, a former director of the State Music Academy of Antwerp in Belgium and immediate past-president of the International Kodály Society, based in Budapest, Hungary.
Gilbert De Greeve, who received his first music lessons from his father Jos De Greeve (a violinist) studied at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, notably with Eugène Traey, Jacqueline Fontyn and Jan Decadt, where he majored in both Performance and Composition. He went on studying in the USA, with Rudolf Serkin, Eugene Ormandy and Leonard Pearlman.
His artistic activities, performing, giving master classes and lecturing, are bringing him all over the globe. In the past 40 years he has given numerous concerts, made radio and television recordings and has given master classes in piano, chamber music, Lied interpretation/accompaniment and composition in the five continents. He is also much in demand as a lecturer on several topics.
At the age of 25 he became one of the youngest Professors ever at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp and Director of the State Music Academy of the same city, a school which he developed from its foundation in 1970 into a major institution with more than 4.200 students.
As soloist, in Chamber Music and as an accompanist, he is known for his striking interpretations. A critic formulated it once as follows: “...throughout the recital the playing was non-demonstrative, totally under control, but with a highly individual interpretation which was refreshing... ...Some pianists consider Chopin’s works to be an invitation to show off their technical virtuosity and to thump the piano into submission. What we miss is the poetry and sensitivity of the music. Gilbert De Greeve has virtuosity in great abundance but he used this always at the service of the music. I don’t think I have heard a more gentle and articulate performance of Chopin in recent years...”
Among his compositions, to name just a few, are the Lied Cycle Chamber Music (36 Lieder on poems by James Joyce), instrumental music, chamber music, orchestra and choral pieces.
At present Gilbert De Greeve is Honorary Director of the State Music Academy of Antwerp and Honorary Professor of the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. He is also a Past-President of the International Kodály Society, based in Budapest, Hungary.