Nils Frahm (DE)
An accomplished composer and musician with a keen interest in both classical and ambient realms, Berlin-based piano virtuoso, Nils Frahm first learned to play the age-old instrument in the purest Tchaikovsky tradition. His hyper-intimate and unconventional approach to recording makes use of microscopic external sounds that most musicians would frown upon - like piano keys cracking, floorboards creaking, and Frahm himself breathing. Since founding the Durton Studio in 2008, Frahm has defined a new generation of like-minded, classically trained musicians (think Anne Müller and Peter Broderick) who use their training as a jumping off point to tinker with uncharted sonic realms. His tender, deceptively simple piano works have garnered universal acclaim, with his latest, Screws (2012), taking a temporary setback (a broken thumb) and turning it into an inspired experiment in composition – using nine fingers, bien sûr.