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RIOPY is the French-English Jean-Philippe Rio-Py, who has fused minimalism, pop, jazz, and cinematic idioms into a distinctive crossover piano style. Initially a self-taught composer, he later studied at Oxford and built a successful career both as a performer and in the realm of television and film, where his evocative solo piano pieces provided the backdrop to several popular movie trailers. After signing with Warner Classics, he issued his eponymous debut album in 2018, followed a year later by Tree of Light.
RIOPY was born in 1983 and raised in rural France. With little access to printed music or formal music education, he began playing an abandoned piano he found. He composed music in his head and realized it at the keyboard, never notating it. RIOPY's talent attracted notice, and at age 17 he was asked to perform at a charity telethon in the small city of Saint Maixent. There he played a Steinway piano for the first time and remarked that it was to the piano what the Rolls Royce is to cars. He did not undertake serious training, however, until 2006, after he had moved to Oxford, England.
RIOPY's work has fallen between the classical and pop spheres, in terms both of musical content and of performance institutions. Early in his career he performed in clubs in London (including Soho House) and Paris. Positive reactions to those appearances led to concerts at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) in London and at the Arts Club in London's Mayfair district. Signed to the roster of the Creative Arts Agency in Los Angeles, RIOPY was able to market his music effectively to both advertising agencies (among the prestige firms that have used his music in campaigns are IKEA, Mercedes, Armani, and Samsung) and film studios. His compositions are heard in trailers for the films The Danish Girl, The Sense of an Ending, and others, as well as in television documentaries broadcast on the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 networks in Britain.
Designation of the photogenic RIOPY as a Young Steinway Artist led to wider concert exposure and to his signing by the Warner Classics label, which released his all-original self-titled debut album in 2018. His follow-up, the quietly compelling Tree of Light, appeared a year later in September 2019. ~ James Manheim