Jisk Lieftink

Pianist and Composer




Jisk Lieftink graduated classical music piano in 2011 at the conservatory of Zwolle, The Netherlands. Where he studied his with bachelor with Sebastiaan Oosthout, and later his Master with Frank van de Laar.

Although his main repertoire is classical music, he later developed a youtube channel where he made classical piano arrangements of Electronic Dance Music, named Hardstyle Pianist.

During his ‘Hardstyle Pianist In Concert’ concept he even brings a complete string orchestra, percussion, solo-instrumentalists and singers to the stage. The Hardstyle Pianist started out recording the arrangements he played on video and posting them on his Youtube channel and Facebook page. Meanwhile he also started composing his own music. He made 9 short musical stories for piano.

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What does music mean to you personally?

Music gives me joy and hope. Listening to it can give me energy or makes me calm. Playing and composing music gives me a purpose in life. It is a way to express my personal life’s story. A life without music would be dull and empthy.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music is a universal language. It is about feeling and expression. But with fantasy you can lift it up to a higher level.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I would help people in another way. I like psychology. And i’m vegan so im very passionate about helping animals too.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

Im a classical pianist and my audience is very young. It depends on the genre you play and how you present yourself. I think classical music can be for everybody. I’m not worried. It has been there for ages and it will last for a long time.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

It is impossible to create something completely new because there is so much music out there. So I think we have to combine different styles and genres.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

You need to be creative and think outside the box. Mix different genres and try to find your own personal sound. For example mixing classical music with dance music.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

I did it with combining electronic dance music with classical music. You can also mix other more popular genres to attract an audience. Or present your music in a way that attracts a younger people. Master pianist Lang Lang has a big audience. His playing attracts both old and young people.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

The last 4 years I started a youtube channel where I combined dance music with classical music. I made classical arrangements of dance music. After making over 150 pieces I also felt the urge to make own compositions. To tell my own story. Inspired by composers like Chopin and Grieg, but also Einaudi and Dance music, I tried to create my own style.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

You have to learn to listen to classical music. Because it has more depth and expression in comparison to popular music. First start listen to the easy, popular compositions like Debussy’s Clair de Lune or Vivaldi 4 seasons. Then listen to more complex pieces and develop your own taste. Some people like Bach more, some like Chopin.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

I think of how I can tell my story tot them. Would they understand it? Is it not too long? What kind of genre do I want to compose etc. And do other people want to play my compositions?

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

When corona is over I will play again at festivals. Do my own shows with orchestra. Where I play classical (dance) music. Hopefully I can give concerts with my own classical compositions too.