Mozart. Bach. Blaauw? Why technology is inspiring the next generation of musicians


Qden Blaauw wouldn’t be the pianist he is today if it wasn’t for his iPad. At the age of eight, he discovered a piano app and the wonder of classical music. The sounds of Beethoven, Bach, and Chopin rang out from the speaker. Blaauw was entranced. He tapped his fingers on the screen, keeping up with the melody. Soon, he was begging his parents for piano lessons. Just six years on from his first app recital, Blaauw is travelling the world as a classical pianist.

“It takes lots of hard work and dedication to get to this level,” Blaauw says. But the challenge of classical music is what attracted him to the genre. Few can claim to be proficient in its technical complexity. At the age of 14, Blaauw has already mastered some of the most famous works – and is creating his own. His greatest inspiration is Mozart, a fellow child prodigy. In 2016, Blaauw was one of the select few chosen to attend the Allianz Junior Music Camp in Poland, where he received the mentorship of renowned pianist Lang Lang.

What began as fun and games has spurred on the journey of a concert pianist. The effects of technology on children are debatable. But for Blaauw, it introduced him to a centuries-old artform. The teenager is reviving what is often considered an antiquated genre for his generation. “I’m making classical music cool again,” he says.