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Phébus is one of the epithets of Apollo, the solar god and protector of the arts in the Greco-Roman world.
Both tenured musicians at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (Liège), we felt the need to explore new musical horizons together and formed a violin/viola/percussion duo, under the dual banner of diversity and discovery.
In our concerts, we move between works by the great composers of the past (played in the form of transcriptions) and pieces from the contemporary repertoire written specifically for this group.
Aware of the importance of musical creation, we are currently working with a number of internationally renowned composers, including François Narboni (FR), Anders Koppel (DK) and Daniel Capelletti (BE).
Our duo has won 2nd prize in the Malopolska International Music Competition (Poland) and the Vrsac Music in the Vineyards Competition (Serbia), as well as 3rd prize in the France Music Competition.
An album project is currently underway with the Liège-based label Homerecords Studio. This first opus, representative of our work, will include both our transcriptions and the two pieces commissioned from François Narboni and Anders Koppel. The album is due for release on 8 September 2023.
Our duo is sponsored by the French percussion instrument company Bergerault.
Born in 1989 in Thionville (France), Hélène Petit began studying the violin at the age of 7 with Elisabeth Bauer.
She continued her musical studies at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Metz with Carole Bruère-Garbarg, and in 2011 joined the Pôle Supérieur de Paris in the classes of Christophe Poiget and Annick Roussin.
At the end of her training in Paris, she obtained a Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Musicien (DNSPM), a Diplôme d'Etat (DE) as a violin teacher, and a degree in musicology from the Université Paris-Sorbonne.
Hélène went on to study with Marie-Annick Nicolas at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève, where she obtained a Master of Concert Studies in 2015.
She is regularly invited to play in the orchestra of the Opéra National de Lorraine (Nancy), the Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, the Orchestre National de Metz and has also taken part in projects with the orchestra "Les Siècles".
Since February 2018, Hélène has been the titular violinist in the orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie. Passionate about chamber music and ensemble work, Hélène takes part in many projects in addition to her work at the Opera: in 2018, she joined the Orchestre de Chambre de Liège and, in 2020, founded the Khrôma string quartet with Nina Poskin, François-Jean Yzambart and Frédéric Preusser.
Having fallen under the spell of the viola in 2021, Hélène also plays this instrument as part of the Duo Phébus.
Born in 1996 in Namur, Martin Descamps began percussion at the age of 5 at the Lucien Robert Conservatory in Tamines with Thierry Lapierre.
In 2010, he joined Jessica Ryckewaert and Claude Podgornik's percussion class at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie de Namur (IMEP) as part of the 'Jeunes Talents' scheme. He won 1st prize at the Dexia Classics competition in 2011, and a few months later was invited to play Emmanuel Séjourné's 'Concerto for marimba' with the Orchestre Aria at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels).
Nominated 'Namurois of the Year' in the 'Young Talent' category in 2013, he began a degree in music performance in percussion at the IMEP. A few months later, he was named winner of the 2014 edition of the Fonds Thirionet.
At the end of his first year at IMEP, he left to continue his training at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Strasbourg with Emmanuel Sejourné, Stéphane Fougeroux and Denis Riedinger. Alongside his studies, he was also invited to play with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.
Since August 2015, Martin has held the position of 1st solo percussionist / 2nd timpanist in the orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie and is regularly invited to play in other phalanges such as the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and the orchestra of the Dortmund Opera (Germany).
Martin is also active on the international solo competition scene, having been awarded 2nd prize at the Swiss Percussion Competition (Recital Performance category) in September 2022, 2nd prize at the Italy Percussive Arts Society Competition (Vibraphone category) in November 2022, and unanimous 1st prize and Prix d'Honneur at the France Music Competition in December 2022.