Benjamin Thiébault

Jazz - master


I was born in Montpellier, France where I started to show a deep interest in music at an early age. I got into jazz because of rhythm and improvisation. I then moved to Paris to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse before coming to Amsterdam as an exchange student.

I chose to finish my Master’s degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam after meeting the teachers who I learned a lot from (Harmen Fraanje, Yaniv Nachum and Rafael Reina). I graduated last June, after what I started my professional career. Next to my activities as a performer, I also teach music in a music school. I am still using the school environment for the facilities, the network and more generally for the global emulation.

I like to go back to France from time to time also, where I can bring back all this knowledge and open-mindedness I got from living in the Netherlands.

My golden tip for prospective students considering this study programme

Do not expect the school to provide you with the work you need to do to become an accomplish musician, but more like an environment where you can learn from anybody around you. Use the facilities which are at your disposal as much as you can (practice and rehearsal rooms, studio, library, etc.) be your own manager, play with the people which you feel the more connected with, they will become your work colleagues in the near future. Apply for competitions, be dedicated and show your best professional skills right away (be on time, respectful and take things seriously no matter what). Do not lock yourself in, keep being open and connect with the outside world. Try to create bounds with the students from the other departments and people from different nationalities.

Future plans
Start a musical career based on my own music, develop a personal approach to teaching, be artistically, musically and creatively productive.

Final Master Exam (jazz recital made of own compositions performed in trio)

For my final graduation on June 21st, I played a 50 minutes long recital with a piano trio (double bass and drums) which is an all-time classic combo but also the one from the first jazz records I have listened to. It quite felt like an achievement! The music which we performed was exclusively written by me (except from one classical piece by Maurice Ravel I have rearranged for this purpose).

Overige projecten

Important projects to me during my study programme were the research and the Contemporary Music through Non-Western Techniques programme.

I also participated in bands with students from the CvA, ensembles and master-classes, tours, graduation works, concerts outside the school, jam-sessions…


I took some lessons from Bert van den Brink in Utrecht’s Conservatory (former teacher of Harmen Fraanje) and it was quite a life-changing experience. Bert is such a dedicated professor and a unique pianist, I really feel how much he helped me to improve on my instrument.

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