The Gonzervatorians

Chilly Gonzales and his fellow Professors announce the 7 GONZERVATORIANS! Congratulations to you all and a very sincere thank you to the almost 800 applicants who participated in this amazing experiment.

Watch the Gonzervatorian Playlist here


Fat Tony
Frida Split
Natalia Spiner
Raphael Meinhart

The Gonzervatorians

Chilly Gonzales and his fellow Professors announce the 7 GONZERVATORIANS! Congratulations to all and a very sincere thank you to the almost 800 applicants who participated in this amazing experiment.

Watch the Gonzervatorian Playlist here.

#Gonzervatory – Shortlist

After hours of watching and deliberating, and re-watching and re-deliberating, the Gonzervatory professors are pleased to have selected the following applicants for the Gonzervatory SHORT LIST.

Watch all their videos on this SHORTLIST PLAYLIST

Who would YOU choose as a FINALIST?


Alain Legagneur
Andrés Landon
Fat Tony
Frida Split
Isla Ratcliff
Jean Despax
Justin Guzzwell
Kato Change
Natalia Spiner
Raphael Meinhart
Rose Ford
Russell Louder
The Grand Mess
Van Ludo
Yuliano Acri

#Gonzervatory Difficult Decisions

Chilly Gonzales, Professors Socalled, Peaches and Jarvis Cocker viewed 700 videos from 63 countries on 5 continents. Prof. Lisa Kainde Diaz of Ibeyi is on tour and sent in her suggestions. Difficult Decisions had to be made.

Check out the shortlisted applicants’ videos here.

#Gonzervatory Applications Now Closed!

Big Thanks to the HUNDREDS of applicants! Gonzo and his fellow professors Socalled, Peaches, Jarvis Cocker, and Lisa Kainde Diaz from Ibeyi are already at work looking for their students. Who would YOU invite??

Watch all the applicants’ videos in our playlist below.

Gonzervatory Journal Entry

A concert is worth a hundred rehearsals. The adrenalin alone is a force-multiplier of learning. The threat of embarrassment, the shadow of failure, the fog of unresolved tension. But also – the unexpected laugh where you didn’t mean a joke, the consensus that leads to mid-song applause, the feeling of musical time simply stopping… None of this can happen while you sit alone in a studio or at your instrument. Music is communication, so we prepare to communicate. Before a concert, we repeat, rehearse, we make a plan, but we KNOW we will tear up the plan.

We need the plan, but then we don’t need the plan.

Six performers will meet me in Paris. We will spend 8 days making these meticulous plans on a metaphorical sheet of paper. Come join us at the Trianon, and watch us tear up that sheet of paper. Come join us for 100 rehearsals in 2 hours.



(Thank You, from left to right, to Matilda Abraham, Angus Tarnawsky, Casey Mq, Teacher Assistant Socalled, Dani Shivers – Joona Samuel)

Gonzervatory Journal Entry

The Gonzervatory is now officially a reality.

The day of the announcement, I was curious to see the feedback on Twitter. I couldn’t help but notice that the few dozen likes we had accrued were vastly outnumbered by my impulsive retweet of the statement “Chilly Gonzales always looks like he got out of the shower.” (hat tip to Twitter user @whatyouseyr).

Unsurprisingly, snark travels faster than heart. At first I felt disappointed, and a little dirty. One might say I needed a shower.  But wait…My bathrobe-plus-slicked-back-hair look is indeed my trademark, featured prominently in the Gonzervatory video. And this  prompted a Twitter-perfect response that spread further than my initial, idealistic plea. If the music business is about branding now (as opposed to record sales), this random guy’s tweet represented a triumph of snarky marketing.#snarketing.

And isn’t this the kind of thinking I want to share with my Gonzervatorians? Haven’t I consistently given advice to my musician friends to project a cartoon-character-esque visual identity? This retweet may be proof of the power of looking at yourself through the eyes of the audience. This is a power that can be used for good, a power that can be shared.


Gonzervatory Journal Entry

(c)Alexandre Isard

We were supposed to launch The Gonzervatory tomorrow.

But in a classic plot twist, an older version of our press release somehow found its way to hipster blog Stereogum, who posted it a day early. They even mention that the link (for applying to my new all-expenses-paid residential musical workshop) wasn’t working properly. I almost screamed at my computer screen: “Of course it doesn’t work, it’s not supposed to work until tomorrow.”

But this is part of launching new projects in 2017….months of planning followed by laptop screaming.

Once I calmed down, we simply decided to move the announcement ahead by a day.

But The Gonzervatory has actually involved years, not months, of planning. Back in 2004 when I released Solo Piano, I was looking for a way to engage my audience in relation to this quieter, more reflective musical direction.

I remembered being a kid, making music with my older brother, playing happy songs in a sad way, replacing the happy major chords with darker, minor ones…

So I tested out a stage routine in which I played Happy Birthday in a minor key, punctuated by the line “another year has gone by, motherfucker”. Breakthrough! It killed.

Since then, I made different attempts at sharing my view of music as a kind of a toy.

The Gonzervatory is somehow the human manifestation of my major – minor routine, a place to play with this toy and to take it apart – the direct transmission of a musical vision to younger and hungrier musicians.

Who knows how many will actually apply? Is my dream of forming a kind of musical X-men with me as Professor X going to actually WORK?

Once the fucking link works, we’ll find out!


#Gonzervatory Applications are now CLOSED.

Big Thanks to the HUNDREDS of applicants!

Gonzo and his fellow professors Socalled, Peaches, Jarvis Cocker and Lisa Kainde Diaz from Ibeyi now hard at work selecting their students.


Watch all the Applicants here :







Grammy Award-­winning entertainer and composer Chilly Gonzales is CALLING ALL PERFORMING MUSICIANS!

Join him in Paris to study at The Gonzervatory, an 8-day residential music performance workshop. Six selected students will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris for a week of intensive coaching, masterclasses and rehearsals, living together in musical immersion and culminating in a public concert led by Chilly Gonzales himself.



Together we will explore Musical Humanism, audience psychology and what it means to be a performing musician in 2018.




The students’ first meeting with Chilly Gonzales will be … on stage!

The Convocation Concert at Le Trianon theatre in Paris on Thursday 26 April 2018 marks the start of the workshop and introduces each student to the theatre and web audiences.

During the week, each day starts with one-on-one coaching sessions with Gonzo, followed by afternoon masterclasses with special guests, selected from his musical friends and collaborators.

Each evening the students rehearse together, learning and practicing each other’s songs for the Graduation Concert led by Chilly Gonzales himself, also at Le Trianon on Friday 4 May 2018.


The Gonzervatory workshop takes place at the Loft, a musical home created in partnership with Sonos and Steinway & Sons in Paris, France.

The Convocation & Graduation concerts will take place at Le Trianon in Paris.

The experience, with all its inevitable struggles and triumphs, will be documented and shared with viewers all over the world. Livestreams of both of the concerts, daily video debriefs, as well as an online fanzine of photos, illustrations and essay pieces, will allow audiences to witness personal exchanges in real time and develop an emotional investment in the participants’ musical progress.


Entry Deadline:  1 December 2017 11:59PM London Time (GMT)

Semi-finalists announced:  15 December 2017

Finalists announced: 10 January 2018

Convocation Concert: 26 April 2018 8:00 p.m.

Workshop: 27 April – 4 May 2018

Graduation Concert: 4 May 2018 8:00 p.m.




“He’s the teacher you wished you’d had as a kid: a showoff who nevertheless understands your panic and has strategies at his disposal to relieve it.” – The Guardian

“A mad professor of music” – Resident Advisor

“The virtuoso provides his magic touch to a new generation of upand- coming musicians”– Exclaim! Magazine



“Growing up, I had a complex relationship with studying music. I wanted to be inspired and challenged, not ‘taught’. Technical knowledge came quickly, but I struggled to express my feelings in a direct but playful way. I’ve seen so many trained musicians miss out on instinctive musical joy, while those who are self-

taught don’t know how to systematically improve their skills. Musicians shouldn’t have to choose between fun and knowledge, it’s a false choice. The Gonzervatory is a place for young musicians to find and strengthen their musical voice, to journey deeper into the emotions and science of their art.”
Chilly Gonzales, 2017

Over the course of his career, Chilly Gonzales has pulled back the curtain on how music works.

On stage, his now classic ‘Major-Minor’ routine, where he plays Happy Birthday or Chariots of Fire in a minor key to demonstrate the emotional impact of each key, has the audience laughing and learning all at once. Another routine sees Gonzales select a member of the audience to join him on stage and, in less than 3 minutes, they write a spontaneous piece built on the simple repetition of 3 notes plus 1 tiny variation. His most recent tour saw him breakdown the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby in to its component parts, before using a string quartet as a real-life sampler to show how hip-hop, pop and classical music are not so distant relatives. The success of these concert routines led to production of the From Major to Minor live DVD, an hour-long masterclass concert where Chilly Gonzales deals with the principle elements of music theory, including rhythm (featuring special guests Daft Punk) and melody (featuring special guest Feist).

Chilly Gonzales’ teaching also takes the form of best-selling book Re-Introduction Etudes: 24 easy-to-master, fun-to-play piano pieces specifically designed to unlock musical mysteries for those who gave it up. The book is an antidote to the stale, cheesy, ‘rinky-dink’ repertoire most student pianists are forced to play, and aims to restore some fun into the learning process.

Gonzales’ most recent forays into education are through his Pop Music Masterclasses, in which he breaks down the musical elements of current and classic pop hits (Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, or Drake’s Hold On…) in 3-4 minute videos which have to date been viewed several hundred thousand times on YouTube, and the Apple Music Beats1 radio show Music’s Cool with Chilly Gonzales where his unique analysis introduces listeners the theory and the fun of entire musical genres through the work of one exemplary artist (Daft Punk for electronic music, Weezer for Indie Rock…) in a 2-hour monthly broadcast.

Through all of these endeavors, Chilly Gonzales gained a reputation as a “musical scientist” in addition to his renown as a composer and performer, penning several newspaper and magazine opinion pieces and being called upon by the likes of Apple Music’s Beats 1, BBC Radio 1 in the UK, 1Live in Germany, and the CBC in Canada to comment upon our ever-expanding musical universe.

The Gonzervatory workshop is a result of all of the foregoing for the man whose mission it is to spread Musical Humanism: an ongoing and constant search for the techniques and aesthetics that connect musical eras and genres.

Press – The Gonzervatory

Press Release

Download English Version (PDF)

Download French Version (PDF)

Download German Version (PDF)

Download Spanish Version (PDF)


Download Image #1
The Thinker (original) ©2012 Alexandre Isard


Download Image #2
The Gonzervatory – The Call ©2017 Philipp Jedicke


Download Image #3 ©2012 Mark Allan


Download Image #4  ©2015 Alexandre Isard

About Chilly Gonzales

Download Bio

Download the Fact Sheet


Download Gonzervatory Logos (Black, White, Transparent, Vector, Gifs)

Download Chilly Gonzales Logos (Black, White, Transparent, Vector)

Download Gentle Threat Logos (Black, White, Transparent Vector, Gifs)

Watch the video

PR Contacts For More Info


Peculiar Promotion
Patricia Dietz
T: +49 (0)41 22 981 77 24
M: +49 (0)172 405 23 27


Baxter PR
Joe Baxter
T:  +44 (0)207 636 9562
M:  +44 (0)7980 803 511


Webster Media Consulting
Rebecca Webster
T:  +1 (416) 562 5294


Julie Lévêque
T:  +33 (1) 44 53 71 33


For general inquiries and rest of the world territories promo requests, please contact our PROMOTION COORDINATOR
Fabienne Bertheau – Gentle Threat

Room 29 with Jarvis Cocker

A unique collaboration between Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales, Room 29 asks what the ghosts of Hollywood’s golden age can tell us about how we came to be where we are today.


SpotifyDeezerApple MusiciTunesGoogle PlayTidal




Let’s Groove again (Single)

His first Kitty-yo single, “Let’s Groove Again”, became an immediate dancefloor hit upon its 1999 release. It was later used in a BBC promotional trailer for their new TV programme The Restaurant aired in 2007. Gonzales became a fixture in both nightclubs and on the summer pop festival circuit.

Gonzo moves to Berlin

BERLIN … where it all began…


The Entertainist

This album finds him in hip hop mode. Brilliant lyrics, delivered with aplomb, over beats which venture from trad hip-hop territory to electronica (no beats, which has no beats). The music is provided by a range of collaborators including Peaches, Digital Hardcore chaps Bomb 20, Patric Catani and Paul PM.

Über Alles



Presidential Suite

« The great gonzo’s first pop album, a record of such sparkling joy that it makes that S Club Juniors single look like one of Thom Yorke’s suicide poems. Gonzo fans will be aware of his repertoire since european electro whimsy, piano, and balladry were all stirred and twisted on his full length debut « Über Alles », while digital hardcore, hip-hop, mop-styled craziness and snoop-derived rhyme patterns were all fucked up on the classic follow up ‘The Entertainist’. And here, as was hoped, the two meet »



‘Z’ is a mutated « Best of » : Chilly Gonzales covering Chilly Gonzales by re-recording his own songs from scratch in new styles, with new guests, and with all new vocals and music. Guests Feist, Peaches, Paul PM, Taylor Savvy, Louie Austen and Princess Superstar.

The Berlin Hipster Years

Self Declared President of the Underground
Gonzales continued to develop as a producer and songwriter for other artists, collaborating on singles and albums with Peaches, renowned chanteuse Jane Birkin and budding indie star Leslie Feist.
Daft Punk, Björk, Placebo and Chet Baker solo piano “remakes” David Bowie’s Meltdown festival, Iggy Pop’s “Motor Inn”



A CD of 16 piano themes for left hand accompaniment and right hand melody.
Gonzales’ best selling album. It introduced Gonzo to an audience of real human beings who actually buy music sometimes. The piano pieces were used in documentaries, in films by François Ozon, Patrice Leconte, Pierre Jolivet.

Let It Die (Feist), co-produced by Gonzo

Let It Die was welcomed as one of the best Canadian pop albums of 2004, and collected three Juno Award nominations in 2005 —winning Best Alternative Album and Best New Artist. Let It Die was nominated once again in the 2006 Juno Awards; this time for “Inside and Out” as Single of the Year.
500 000 copies have been sold


From Major To Minor

Double DVD, directed by Nina Rhode aka Ninja Pleasure, with the surrealist “Master Class” by Professor Gonzales, teaching music theory to real students taken from the audience as well as his friends, featuring Jamie Lidell & Feist on “Melody” and Daft Punk on “Rhythm”, the “White Gloves Concert” featuring Jamie Lidell, Mocky and Feist performing each others’ songs, followed by Chilly Gonzales concert footage, videos, television interviews and the Paris Nuits Blanches



The Reminder (Feist), co-produced by Gonzo

The Reminder won 3 Juno Awards in 2008 including Best Pop Album of the Year and Best Album of the Year. It was also nominated for 4 Grammys including Best Producer at the 50th Grammy Awards. 1 500 000 copies have been sold

Grammy Nomination

Producer – Album of the year


Soft Power

The misunderstood masterpiece






Gonzales breaks Guinness book’s world records for the longest solo concert

To fully satisfy the insatiable ambition of Gonzales, only one thing was left to do and he did it.
May 16–18, 2009 Gonzales broke the Guinness World Record for the longest solo concert… by playing 27 hours 3 minutes 44 seconds of piano, over 200 different songs, in a marathon concert at film director Claude Lelouch’s Ciné 13 Theatre in Paris.
A record 85 000 people from all over the world tuned in to the live webcast, that became the days n° 2 “twitter trend”.


The Musical Inspiration of Pierre “Bande Originale” by Pierre Gagnaire et Chilly Gonzales

An offer to co-write a book of music inspired by recipes inspired by music, with Pierre Gagnaire, the 3 star chef and owner of London’s Sketch and Paris’ Le restaurant de Pierre Gagnaire.

The Hands of Serge Gainsbourg on the big screen “Gainsbourg, Vie héroïque”

In 2009 Gonzo accepted several of the more interesting offers that came his way in the wake of this new found fame. Offers to incarnate Serge Gainsbourg, to play his music for the soundtrack – and his hands for the screen – in the much anticipated first feature film of renowned comic book artist Johann Sfar.

Ivory Tower – The Movie

Ivory Tower is an existential sports comedy, a story of two brothers and their unhealthy rivalry over both the chessboard and a woman.
“Mention Speciale du Jury” Filmmakers of the Present Competition Locarno Internation Film Festival 2010
The film was co-written by Gonzo and French director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma. It stars a variety of Canadian-born musicians, including Gonzales himself, Peaches, Feist and Tiga.
Music by Chilly Gonzales and Boys Noize
Directed by Adam Traynor

Ivory Tower

Apple’s world-wide IPAD2 campaign with the Ivory Tower single Never Stop


Ivory Tower nominated at JUNO

Ivory Tower nominated in Canadian Music Award JUNOs’ BEST ELECTRONIC ALBUM category. Gonzo opens the broadcast in a duo with Drake


Solo Piano II reaches 100000 Fans

Alone for 10 days in Paris’ Studio Pigalle, Chilly Gonzales recorded a handful of songs that had made the short list from a hundred or so melodies written over the eight years that had passed since the release of the now iconic Solo Piano.


Drake, Feist, Daft Punk all call Chilly Gonzales to collaborate



Gonzo gets a Grammy: his piano finds itself WITHIN Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories 2013 Album of the Year.

Re-Introduction Etudes

Re-Introduction Etudes: a book of 24 easy-to-master, fun-to-play piano pieces specifically designed to unlock musical mysteries for those who gave it up. The unexpected sheet music hit of summer 2014 inspires 25 000 people to pick up the piano again.

Octave Minds

Octave Minds : Chilly Gonzales and Boys Noize collaborate on an ethereal piano meets electronica album that comes to life in the first ever concert at Teufelsberg in Berlin, the USA’s graffiti-laden cold war spy station


Pop Music Masterclasses

Music pundits and fans worldwide turn to Gonzo as the great explainer of all things music theory: his web series of POP MUSIC MASTERCLASSES fires up the internet and he anchors documentaries on “Classical Connections” (BBC) and “The History of Music” (Arte).


Chilly Gonzales re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today’s addictive pop in new album Chambers. Gestures from rap, ambient, easy listening and the avant-garde co- exist as always in Chilly Gonzales’ musical universe – this time with strings attached.


Music’s Cool with Chilly Gonzales

Gonzo penns several newspaper and magazine opinion pieces and is called upon by the likes of BBC Radio 1 in the UK, 1Live in Germany, and the CBC in Canada to comment upon our ever- expanding musical universe.  Apple Music’s Beats1 broadcasts radio show Music’s Cool with Chilly Gonzales in which Gonzo’s unique analysis introduces listeners the theory and the fun of entire musical genres through the work of one exemplary artist (Daft Punk for electronic music, Weezer for Indie Rock…) in a 2-hour monthly broadcast.

Room 29

Written with Jarvis Cocker, Room 29 is a song-cycle about a Chateau Marmont (LA) hotel room with a piano in it, the first album on Deutsche Grammophon with a “parental advisory” logo.


The Gonzervatory

A year of Concerts and other Collaborations: Jarvis Cocker, Kaiser Quartett, Stella Le Page, Joe Flory, Ibeyi, Francesco Tristano, Daniel Hope, Toddla T, Leonard Cohen Tribute, Bugzy Malone and others… ends with a bang…Gonzo makes a Call to Entry for his very own music school, The Gonzervatory, an all-expenses-paid residential music performance workshop being held in Paris, Spring 2018. Six selected students will win a trip to Paris for a week of intensive coaching, masterclasses and rehearsals, living together in musical immersion and culminating in a public concert led by Chilly Gonzales himself.  Together they will explore Musical Humanism, audience psychology and what it means to be a performing musician in 2018.

Re-Introduction Etudes

Chilly Gonzales brings some of the joy back to the lapsed amateur pianist with his Re-Introduction Etudes: a book of 24 easy-to-master, fun-to-play piano pieces specifically designed to unlock musical mysteries for those who gave it up.
Each etude is introduced by a short text, in which Gonzo shares his point of view on scales, explains how melodies are designed, how modern pop harmony works … and divulges his own personal “shortcuts”. The companion CD of his recordings of the 24 pieces goes a long way to getting the music into the piano student’s head, so it can then spill out onto the keys and a tear-out poster strategically placed near the piano will inspire the musician in all of you!

Re-introduction Etudes

  • 1. Five Spot (Dedicated to Johannes Brahms)
  • 2. Pavane (Dedicated to Steve Jobs)
  • 3. Pleading The Fifth (Dedicated to Feist)
  • 4. Mansbridge (Dedicated to Drake)
  • 5. Red Thread (Dedicated to Nina Simone)
  • 6. Cloches Tristes (Dedicated to Pierre Gagnaire)
  • 7. Sunday Unsung (Dedicated to Your Ears)
  • 8. Climbing And Falling (Dedicated to M.C Escher)
  • 9. Tarantula (Dedicated to Thelonious Monk)
  • 10. Odessa (Dedicated to Kristina)
  • 11. Aquamarine (Dedicated to Mozart)
  • 12. Dressed In Green (Dedicated to Paddy McAloon)
  • 13. In-Between (Dedicated to Chet Baker)
  • 14. Glad And Sad (Dedicated to Victor Borge)
  • 15. Resolutions Per Minute (Dedicated to Clara Schumann)
  • 16. Cycle Therapy (Dedicated to Lionel Richie)
  • 17. Early Bird (Dedicated to Erik Satie)
  • 18. College Triads (Dedicated to Mocky)
  • 19. Les Accords (Dedicated to Maria Callas)
  • 20. White Litany (Dedicated to Daft Punk)
  • 21. Chaconne And On (Dedicated to Prince)
  • 22. 80’s And Gentlemen (Dedicated to My Brother Chris)
  • 23. Lefties (Dedicated to Barack Obama)
  • 24. Knight Moves Solo Piano (Dedicated to Boys Noize)



An album for piano and string quartet (and a few surprises along the way). Inspired by the deepening relationship with Hamburg’s Kaiser Quartett, the album re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today’s addictive pop.

SpotifyDeezerApple MusiciTunesGoogle PlayTidal