Born in the Netherlands, Joop Celis (1958) received his first piano lessons from his father at the age of nine. Later he studied with Jo Dusseldorp at the Conservatorium Maastricht, graduating with distinction in 1979. At the age of fifteen he won a Dutch competition for young pianists, and four years later the third prize at the famous Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy. He continued his studies for two years with Paul Badura-Skoda at the Folkwang Musikhochschule in Essen, Germany. In addition he is a laureate of the Tromp Competition in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and of the Epinal International Piano Competition (France).

Besides giving solo recitals and concerts of chamber music, Joop Celis has made a number of radio recordings for several international broadcasting companies, as well as recordings for release on CD. His repertoire ranges from the Classical period through the Romantic era up to French impressionism and post-romanticism. He has devoted himself in particular to the relatively un-known British composer York Bowen (1884–1961), giving lecture-recitals, concerts, and making recordings. Until now Joop Celis realized four CD’s with piano works by York Bowen, released by the British Chandos label. All four CD’s received critical acclaim in the international press.

His most recent CD, dedicated to piano works of the Spanish composer Enrique Granados – a.o. his famous suite ‘Goyescas’ and the Escenas Poéticas – and being released by the Swedish label BIS – is a kind of centenary tribute to the composer, who died tragically during the First World War, in March 1916. 

Joop Celis teaches at the Hogeschool Zuyd Conservatorium in Maastricht and at the Lemmens campus of the LUCA School of Arts in Leuven, Belgium. Besides this, he is occasionally a guest professor at the Conservatorium of the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, in Tilburg. He regularly gives masterclasses abroad, for example in Belgium, Portugal and Asia.