Jean-François ZYGEL, composer

Il est là (for accordion and string quintet)
a piece freely inspired by several major Beethoven themes

« When Félicien proposed that I take part in a seance with him and a number of fellow composers, I thought that only an accordionist could believe in such nonsense! I agreed, however, curious as to how educated and rational minds could give credence to such superstitions…

As expected, after twenty long minutes of concentration of the fluids supposed to allow the spirit of the great Ludwig to manifest itself, nothing had happened. But if the tables did not turn that day, honesty obliges me to admit that as we were about to part, a strange music was heard. It was very distant at first, then gradually came closer, swirling, heady, and in which a handful of famous, ghostly, grimacing themes could be distinguished more or less clearly.

I had to admit it: HE WAS THERE! »

Jean-François Zygel

Jean-François Zygel in a few lines…

After his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP) where he obtained ten first prizes, Jean-François Zygel won in 1982 the first prize of the International Piano Improvisation Competition of Lyon. It was the start of a singular career as a concert improviser which led him to share the stage with dancers and actors, jazz, song or world music musicians.

Named « artist-in-residence » for the third consecutive year at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Jean-François Zygel performed more than 120 concerts in France and abroad during the 2017-2018 season.

His music is nourished by his classical culture as well as by his multiple stage encounters, as well as synagogical cantillation, an ancestral art practiced in Poland by his two great hazzanim grandfathers.

Jean-François Zygel is also recognized in France and abroad as one of the best specialists in accompanying silent films in concert.

He is also known to the general public for his television programs (La Boîte à musique, Les Clefs de l’Orchestre, Zygel Académie) and radio (La Preuve par Z, France Inter), where he defends with malice and passion his favorite art.

Jean-François Zygel founded the piano improvisation class fifteen years ago at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP). His latest album, L’Alchimiste, was released by Sony.