French schoolboy pianist given piano after viral video

A 14-year-old French piano prodigy from a deprived area of Marseille has been gifted a free piano after a video of him playing in public was posted online.

19 December 2018
Mourad Tsimpo has been practicing his skills on public pianos in Marseille, but has now been gifted his own instrument
By Connexion journalist

Mourad Tsimpo, who lives in the council estate area of la cité de la Castellane (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), is a young pianist who says he mainly learned to play “by ear, by instinct”.

At least twice a week, he has been honing his playing skills on a public-access piano in the corridors of the Marseille Timone hospital - and any other public pianos he can find.

He sometimes plays for up to seven hours at a time, according to locals.

But after a video of Mr Tsimpo playing in public was posted online (below, by Marseille local and Twitter user @Marston213), it was seen by the owner of a local music shop, Éric Scotto.

In response, Mr Scotto decided to give the teenager his very own piano for free, to enable him to practice even more.

Mr Scotto said: “Now, we need to give him - and that is why we are here - the tools so that he can practice...because talent without work is nothing.”

Despite reaching a prodigious playing ability at a young age - including pieces by composers such as Chopin and Beethoven - Mr Tsimpou still describes himself “as a beginner”.

His father explained to the press that the boy’s musical ability was apparent from a young age. Before he played piano, he sang, and progressed musically thanks to his music teacher at school.

Mr Tsimpou now says that he would like to become a music teacher himself.

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