at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatory of The
specializing in both
music. In 1982 when he performed the Dutch premiere of the Double
Concerto by Elliott Carter as a soloist in the Concertgebouw of
Amsterdam started his interest in American music. In 1984 he gave a
recital in New York at the American New Music Consortium Festival. In
1986 his LP All American music was released to critical acclaim.
performed John Cage’ famous Sonatas
and Interludes for
prepared piano by John Cage
several times in concert,
his complete Music of changes and the Concerto
for prepared piano and chamber orcestra.
When the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra gave its first performance of Ives’ Fourth Symphony in 1997, René Eckhardt was invited to play the solo piano part. Furthermore he was three times soloist in the prestigious Dutch concert series De Matinee. In 2004 Eckhardt organized a series of concerts with the Songs of Charles Ives with mezzo soprano Marion van den Akker and bariton Hans van Heiningen.
Piano concertos. Eckhardt performed several 20th century piano concerto's, such as Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra; Islands by Luca Francesconi with the Asko|Schönberg; and Karel Goeyvaerts’ Avontuur (Adventure) with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Ličge. Eckhardt recorded Tristan Keuris’ Piano Concerto on CD with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Lucas Vis. He regularly worked with composers from all over the world such as Jonathan Harvey, Pierre Boulez, Franco Donatoni, Mauricio Kagel and Charles Wuorinen to prepare performances of their works.
Solo programs. His tour in the Netherlands with his program Tribute with compositions of among others Messiaen, Takemitsu, Cage and Piazzolla came with the release of the CD Tribute 2000 and the book Ten Composer portraits in word and image by Saar Roelofs. The recording of Keuris' Sonata for piano (1970) on this CD is released again in 2009 as part of a CD-box with the complete works of Keuris. In his programma From Haydn till Today he played works by Haydn, Schumann and Stravinsky together with three new Dutch compositions which were dedicated to Eckhardt. In 2012 Eckhardt played all twenty four Preludes of Claude Debussy.
Dutch music. As an “ambassador of Dutch music” Eckhardt performed regularly piano works of composers living in the Netherlands. In 1993 the CD Ton de Leeuw - Chamber Music with a piano solo by René Eckhardt was awarded an Edison Classic. In 2010 Eckhardt made a recording of the complete piano works by Ton de Leeuw.
Young composer Florian Maier dedicated his piano work with electronics, Luciferase, Liquid music nr. 1 (2006) to Eckhardt which he performed several times in The Netherlands and in the U.S.
Accompanying concert singers. René Eckhardt regularly accompanied concert singers, among others Marjanne Kweksilber, Lieuwe Visser, Marion van den Akker, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Jasperina de Jong en Anu Komsi.
Het Trio. From 1982 till 2004 René Eckhardt, together with bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay and flutist Harrie Starreveld formed the ensemble Het Trio. Over 180 compositions have been dedicated and premiered by Het Trio by such renowned composers as Franco Donatoni, Jonathan Harvey and Theo Loevendie. Het Trio made concert tours all over the world, giving workshops and lecture-recitals. In 1997 Eckhardt got Japanse composer Maki Ishii to write an opera for Het Trio, percussion and soloist, titled Tojirareta Fune, which was performed in 1999-2000 in the Netherlands, Germany and in Tokyo.
Asko|Schönberg. From 1980 till 2012 Eckhardt was a permanent member of the ensemble Asko|Schönberg, and also coach of the Ligeti Academy of this ensemble.
Eckhardt made several transcriptions, such as