French pianist Jean-Philippe RioPy set to play The Apex next month

Jean-Philippe RioPy, (pictured above) known professionally as RIOPY, has become one of the most prominent figures of contemporary classical music and he is to perform at The Apex, early next month.

His album “Tree of Light” peaked at number one in the classical album charts in 2022 after 70 consecutive weeks in the top 10 and he has now accumulated nearly 300 million streams on digital platforms. Now he’s undertaking his first UK tour, calling in to Bury St Edmunds.

RIOPY fuses minimalism, pop and cinematic styles; his evocative solo piano pieces have provided the backdrop to several popular movie trailers, including Oscar-winning films, “The Shape of Water” and “The Danish Girl”.

His music also features in several adverts, including ones for Mercedes, Ikea and Armani, as well as documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Programme manager at The Apex, Nick Wells, explains: “RIOPY crosses over several different genres, but lovers of classical and jazz most definitely shouldn’t miss this concert. I genuinely believe RIOPY will appeal to people who appreciate and enjoy musicians at the very top of their game.”

Born in rural France, RIOPY’s mother left home with him when he was six months old, eventually joining a cult, where family ties were discouraged – and obedience to the head guru was paramount.

Deprived of any outside culture, young Jean-Philippe taught himself to play on an abandoned piano when he was two. Without access to printed scores, he made up songs in his head, then performed them.

RIOPY was drawn to the piano as it allowed him to focus on creating music from scratch, quiet his mind from his OCD anxieties and to retreat into his own private world.

“I understood tones, sounds and numbers, because I’d always been counting,” he says. “Playing piano was the only place I felt safe. I discovered something new every time I sat down at the piano. It was the only thing I enjoyed doing. And even if I wasn’t at the piano, I’d play music in my head to cope with stress.”

His rhythmically driven approach to performing his own compositions brought him to the attention of the piano firm Steinway & Sons, who chose him to be a featured artist when he was 17 years old.

After a brief time in America, he left for the UK in his 20s and trained at Oxford, before embarking on his professional career. His fortunes changed when he was given a Steinway piano by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, after he had seen RIOPY’s performance at a gala dinner.

With three Warner Classics albums “RIOPY”, “Tree of Light” and “[Extended] Bliss” already finding a worldwide audience of more than half a billion, his new album is expected early this year.

RIOPY will be at The Apex on Thursday, February 9, at 7.30pm. Contact the Box Office on 01284 758000 or see the website for more details or to book.

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