He was Tenuto-laureate in 1988 ; in 1989 he won the international E. Durlet competition. In 1991 he was laureate of the international Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 1992 he was awarded the JeM/ Cera prize for musicians and in 1996 he was signed up as festival star of the Flanders Festival. He is also laureate of the 'Gouden Vleugels/KBC Muziekprijs' 2006.
Jan Michiels is currently active as piano professor in the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, where he also led the class of contemporary music for eight years. Since some years he is also an artistic advisor of the Orpheusinstituut. He regularly performs as a soloist or with chamber music ensembles (a.o. the Prometheus Ensemble and a piano duo with Inge Spinette) in several musical centres in Europe and Asia, with conductors such as Angus, Serge Baudo, Boreycko, Terry Edwards (2), Peter Eötvös, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alexander Rahbari, Peter Rundel, Etienne Siebens, Stern, Arturo Tamayo, Pfaff, Lothar Zagrosek, Hans Zender - but also with dance-productions of Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker, Vincent Dunoyer and Sen Hea Ha.
His repertoire reaches from Johann Sebastian Bach to today. Apart from his many radio recordings, he also recorded cd's with works from a.o. Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Claude Debussy, Béla Bartók, Franz Liszt, Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, György Ligeti, György Kurtag and Karel Goeyvaerts (these three last composers appreciated Michiels' interpretations very much).
The CD 'Via Crucis' - a Liszt-portrait (Eufoda 1324) - received a Caeciliaprize in 2002. In 2005 he recorded for Eufoda all piano works by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern (Eufoda 1362).