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PIANO SENSATION GEN Z: IN CONVERSATION WITH LOUIS PHILIPPSON

Between TikTok, vlogs, and much humor, the 19-year-old German pianist introduces us to a new, playful interpretation of classical music, a genre that an entire generation needs urgent reintroduction to. A photoshoot and a quick interview session with Louis Philippson and Numéro Berlin. When Louis starts to play the piano it seems like he disappears into different sphere. It just flows as naturally as a cozy walk through a park, like a language he speaks since being born. Indeed he started to play quite early and it is not recently that he has found a way to invite not only his peers to the conversation he opens when sitting infront of his piano.

His big talent was discovered at the age of 7 when a university professor recognized his piano prowess on YouTube. 

He subsequently was given the fantastic opportunity to study at the prestigious Robert Schumann Musik Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany, at an early age. At just 19, he has triumphed in an astounding 22 national and international piano competitions.  When he launched his channel on Tik Tok in 2020, he has amassed a remarkable following of over 720,000 fans. Signed by one of the largest creator management agencies in GSA, Louis combines vlogs and unusual piano reinterpretations of renowned classics across various genres to playfully introduce classical music.

And the beauty to be added here: Philippson is like a raw diamond in the way he walks through life so humble, polite and positive.

Since September 2023, he has unveiled a series of inspiring, soothing, and melodious piano singles, collaborating with a team of exceptional arrangers and composers, he crafts original compositions reminiscent of Ludovico Einaudi’s style, reinvents legendary classical melodies in unique piano arrangements, and creates new piano versions of pop and soundtrack classics loved by Gen Z. Just recently, Philippson collaborated with Fab Morvan from Milli Vanilli in a TikTok stunt playing “Girl you know it’s true.” The young pianist just knows how to fuse classical and contemporary music in such an effortless way. Looking ahead to 2024, Louis will continue to release singles every month, stay tuned. 

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Creative. Modern. Intuitive.

What childhood memories have shaped you the most?

The most impactful memory is that I started performing as a pianist on stage and giving concerts at the age of 7. That’s when I discovered the spotlight for myself.

Who or what has influenced you artistically the most, up to now?

I’ve been artistically influenced mainly by David Garrett, Lang Lang, and Helene Fischer because they all have a modern approach to the classical or pop music world, breaking conventions and bringing about change.

What does music mean to you? How is it an extension or tool for you?

My music allows me to connect with a large number of people and touch them in a way that, in my opinion, words cannot achieve.

“At 7, I was discovered by chance in a YouTube video by a university professor from the music conservatory, and at 8, I was admitted as a young piano student.”
When did you start playing the piano? Do you remember the beginnings?

I started playing the piano because I wanted to impress my guests with a birthday serenade on the piano for my third birthday. Since I enjoyed playing the piano, I joined the city music school at the age of 5. At 7, I was discovered by chance in a YouTube video by a university professor from the music conservatory, and at 8, I was admitted as a young piano student.

When did you realize that the piano is your very personal vessel?

I just knew it right away. With this one instrument, you can reflect an entire orchestra, and I always liked that idea.

“In the future, my goal is to make my concerts stand out from most classical concerts, possibly by incorporating various music genres and enhancing audience interaction.”
Do you have a vision to make classical music/piano more modern for your generation?

Definitely. My first step was sharing my piano playing on TikTok, where the majority of my audience is a younger demographic. In the future, my goal is to make my concerts stand out from most classical concerts, possibly by incorporating various music genres and enhancing audience interaction.

You’ve already found a way on TikTok. How would you describe the reactions?

I’m extremely grateful that my music and journey inspire so many people. It’s always motivating to see how many people I can inspire to start playing the piano themselves. Giving others the courage to begin playing is a great honor for me.

How do you perceive the reactions from the (more traditional) industry?

I’m thrilled that I can contribute something to the more traditional industry as well. Growing up in the classical world and still exclusively studying classical piano, I’m excited to bring a breath of fresh air to an industry that can sometimes be rigid and set in its ways.

“In my latest feature with Teya Dora, distance wasn’t even a real issue, even though the singer is originally from Serbia.”
You collaborate with various singers—what do you take away from these collaborations, what are the prerequisites for a good duo, and what are the challenges?

The fundamental requirement for a good collaboration is always the motivation to work together and a shared love for the project. Personally, I haven’t encountered significant challenges yet. In my latest feature with Teya Dora, distance wasn’t even a real issue, even though the singer is originally from Serbia. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Tell us more about your latest work: where did it begin, and what is your message?

It all started with the desire to bring my music closer to my audience, and with the record deal with Sony in January, this wish came a big step closer. Currently, I’m working on my debut album, which will be released next year.

“My dream venue to hold a concert would be the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.”
Where does your inspiration for your work mainly come from?

Most of my inspiration comes from everyday life; I’m most creative spontaneously, usually following my intuition.

Your absolute dream performance (choose a venue and artists)?

My dream venue to hold a concert would be the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin. Alongside me, the Berlin Philharmonic, Ayliva, David Garrett, and perhaps a few more guests would perform together.

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