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.

Published Last updated

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.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France