Nikolaas Kende studied at the Antwerp conservatory with Heidi Hendrickx and Levente Kende, his parents, and at the Amsterdam conservatory with Jan Wijn. An intense cooperation followed with Elisso Virsaladze at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (DE) and at the Scuola di Musica Fiesole (IT). In addition to this, he was taught by pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Aldo Ciccolini, Murray Perahia, Dmitri Alexeev and Radu Lupu.
As a soloist, Kende has played concertos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Rachmaninov and Bartók with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of numerous conductors. Kende is also an avid chamber musician. In 2003 he formed a duo with the violinist Jolente De Maeyer and in 2007 he co-founded the Rubens Ensemble.