Chilly Gonzales – Re-Introduction Etudes & The Masterclasses

We’re huge fans of what Chilly Gonzales is doing in his piano niche… he’s making classical stuff cool again. We’ve followed him for a while now and have been lucky to catch him a couple of times and been blown away each time at his combination of fun and musicality. After an incredible show at the Barbican last year the self proclaimed genius is doing another tour around Europe and Canada but with a educational twist.
To coinside with his Re-Introduction Etudes music books he’ll be giving fans a chance to come and learn some serious piano skills live and on stage with him.
We’ll let Chilly tell you what its all about…


“I heard a real-life snake charmer hypnotize a wild animal with a Moroccan flute. I heard a sweaty preacher holler a cappella into a distorted microphone. I heard a songwriter sew her heart on her sleeve, a rapper get high on his own charisma and a jazz cat wing it off the top of his head. I also heard a 35-year old millionaire-DJ produce a song by barking orders at an intern on a laptop. These days, there are umpteen ways of making music.

But back when Brahms composed, he had no Soundcloud page or frequent-flyer miles. So for his music to proliferate, he wrote it down so that anyone, in theory, could play it and therefore hear it. When I was four years old, my grandfather showed me the basics of this anal-retentive system. I soon abandoned it in favour of learning Lionel Richie songs by ear. Recently, I came to be curious about the precision of written notation, so I began daily sessions to improve my sight-reading.

I was shocked by the rinky-dink, un-musical and downright UN-FUN character of most of the sight-reading literature. No wonder I had given up on this imprecisely precise system. I thought of all the folks who had confided to me their wish to rediscover the joy of playing the piano. So many of them took piano lessons as kids but gave up. Learning the piano is overwhelming as there are so many things to think about: scales, finger positions, counting rhythm, understanding how chords move. Where to begin?

Whether you are a lapsed pianist who gave up after a couple of years, a young beginner or a laptop beatmaker wishing for musical options, I submit to you these 24 Re-Introduction Etudes, guiding you through the building blocks of music, Gonzo style.

My goal is to get you sitting down at the piano and enjoying yourself. I made the pieces as fun as possible to play after only a few tries. I hope you will soon be charming a snake, preaching the gospel or barking orders (at your ten fingers).
Go ahead.
Meet music.
Don’t be shy.
Re-introduce yourself!”
Chilly Gonzales

London folk can come and see these bite size lessons live as Chilly talks about melody and harmony, scales, moving motifs, semitones and of course, major and minor. During the course of each lecture, 4 pre-selected « students » will benefit from Gonzo’s teachings right there and then.

The Masterclasses Dates:
Saturday 24 May – Toronto LECTURE @ Royal Conservatory of Music’s Mazzoleni Hall
Monday 2 June – Montreal LECTURE @ Centre Phi
Wednesday 18 June – Vienna CONCERT with Kaiser Quartett @ Der Saal
Friday 27 June – Berlin LECTURE @ Dussman, das KulturKaufhaus
Monday 7 July -Paris LECTURE @ Cité de la Musique’s Amphithéâtre
Tuesday 29 July – London CONCERT @ Roundhouse


Win a chance to be one of Gonzo’s Masterclass students.
If you want a music lesson on stage, write a letter (no more than 300 words) or film a video (no more than 2 minutes) on the subject: “Why I want a lesson with Chilly Gonzales” and send to Submissions may be made in English, French and German.

Deadline is TWO WEEKS before your Masterclass:

Toronto – Friday May 9
Montreal – Saturday May 17
Vienna – Tuesday June 3
Berlin – Thursday June 12
Paris – Sunday June 22
London – Monday July 14