Jean-Pierre Dassonville

Born in Soignies, Belgium, Jean-Pierre Dassonville began his musical studies under the guidance of his father, finishing at the Mons and Liège Royal Conservatories with Nico De Marchi.  He continued his studies with Francis Orval and Claude Maury.

He was soon engaged in various orchestras, successively with the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides , the national radio (RTBF) orchestra, the Flemish Opera and currently as first horn in the Royal Monnaie Opera orchestra in Brussels.

He is also intensely involved with the valveless baroque natural horn, on which he is now a frequently-heard performer.  He has played first horn with Les Agrémens, ex Tempore, Il Gardellino, les Muffati, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, l’Orchestre des Champs Elysées and the Collegium Vocale under Philippe Herreweghe.

In chamber music, both on modern and early instruments, he performs with the ensembles of the Monnaie (with Antonio Pappano among others), Oxalys, Quartz, Odéon, Solstice, Mengal, il Gardellino, the Wolf collective, the Concert Bourgeois, the Danel Quartet, and in duo with pianoforte-player Guy Van Waas and the Agrémens wind quintet.  Many sound and video recordings have resulted from these collaborations.

His solo activities have seen him perform with the Monnaie Orchestra under Kazushi Ono, Alain Altinoglu, the Ensemble Orchestral of Brussels, the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon Provence, the orchestra Bruocsella, Brussels Philharmonic, Belgian Brass.  At the Vire horn festival he premièred the concerto of Roland Schoelinck, who dedicated it to him.  He is a regular guest at that festival as well as those of Avignon, Montréal and Annecy, at Liverpool for the British Horn Society, at the symposiums of the International Horn Society at London in 2014 and in Ghent in 2019.

He gives master classes notably at the Epsilon festival at Saint-Yrieix La Perche, in Anjou with ARAM, at the Avignon Vire festival, the festivals of Dijon, Lille and Strasbourg, at the Montréal Conservatory, the early-music seminary of Namur, the International Academy of Dinant, the summer academy of Saint Vaast, plus various congresses of the French Horn Association, at Birmingham and the Royal Northern College of Music at Manchester for the British Horn Society,  and at HIS symposiums where he teaches both modern and natural horn.  He is also invited as coach by the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique at Saintes (France).

The International Horn Society has recognized Jean-Pierre Dassonville as one of the great representatives of the ‘European’ horn style.  Under its auspices he played in London in August 2014 (IHS 46) and in Ghent in July 2019, during annual symposiums including recitals on a six-pistons instrument by Adolphe Sax. 

Since 2006, he has taught at Belgian conservatories and now teaches horn and natural horn at the Brussels Royal Conservatory.

He is also laureate of a concert on Alpenhorn—another of his interests—in Nendaz, Switzerland.

All these activities have taken Jean-Pierre Dassonville to various parts of Europe, as well as to Japan, Canada, China, Korea, Singapore and the United States.