Philip Zoubek

Philip Zoubek

pianist – NICA Artist since 2020

Philip Zoubek, born 1978 in Tulln / Austria, lives and works in Cologne as pianist and composer. At the centre of his multifaceted musical work lies »sound exploration«, consistently testing the dimensions of the prepared piano as well as the full potential of analogue synthesizers.

Zoubek collaborates with Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert de Joode, Thomas Lehn, Clayton Thomas and Paul Lytton. He has played concerts at the Konzerthaus Vienna, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, at moers festival, Ullrichsberger Kaleidophon and GetItLouder Festival Shanghai/Beijing.

In 2008, he was awarded the Horst and Gretl Will Scholarship by the city of Cologne. In 2020 he was awarded the WDR Jazz Prize Composition.


Extended Range

According to Philip Zoubek, it is his desire to »think, realise and communicate his music in a broader range of activities«.

This sounds logical and stringent in the case of a musician who was born in 1978 in Tulln in Lower Austria, has been sitting on a piano stool from the age of five, and has been opening up new perspectives and ranges just eleven years later as a young student at the Vienna Conservatory and later at the Vienna University of Music.

Although initially it was all about the piano and taking his first steps along the lines of Blues, he soon found that what could be learned under the label of Jazz was too schematic, formulated, too restrictive. Philip was ready to look beyond stylistic boundaries. He found what he was looking for in Cologne. The jazz course at the HMT was open to different styles, and with teachers such as John Taylor, Dieter Manderscheid, Bill Dobbins, it also guaranteed to keep its doors open in many directions, from traditional to modern jazz, from different varieties of free improvisation to new and electronic music. At the same time, the young Cologne scene was diverse and rich, open to experiments and expanding musical horizons, open to confrontation and friction, so that a smooth transition between student and professional level was possible – a treasure trove for a musician who has prioritized the expansion of his range of action.

At the centre of Philip Zoubek’s multifaceted musical work lies his »sound research«, his quest to find new sounds beyond what has been done on traditional instruments with traditional techniques. In doing so, he explores the dimensions of the prepared piano just as consistently as the potentials of analogue synthesizers. In cooperation with internationally renowned representatives of various European improvisation schools such as Wilbert de Joode, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Frank Gratkowski or Franz Hautzinger, or in collaboration with Niels Klein, with whom he prepared his trio music for the WDR Big Band on the occasion of the WDR Jazz Award for Composition in spring 2020, he is however simultaneously moving closer to the realm of notated music again.

Read more