Canadian Philip Chiu doesn’t just play classical music, he’s also one to challenge others to try it out.

One of Canada’s top pianists is in Saskatoon to let his fingers do the talking in an upcoming concert, but Philip Chiu is also prone to singing the praises of classical music.

Chiu is referred to as a “sociable pianist” known not only for his music, but also his rhetorical skills.

Chiu does not shy away from classical naysayers.

“I just ask them, have you given it much of a chance? Who have you listened to? Is it just Mozart and Beethoven?”

Chiu could easily let his resume do the talking. He is the winner of the most prestigious classical music award in Canada, the Prix Goyer. However, he’s interested in helping to compose a new audience of classical music lovers by overcoming the genres reputation as being pretentious.

If it’s known as stuffy Chiu suggested, then the musicians are partly to blame.

“We took for granted the audiences that we have, we took for granted people who already came to classical music with an understanding or where raised in a family that listened to classical music and we kind of forgot about all of the other people.”

“What I try to do is take it down to a very human level,” he said. “The fact is that music is a very primal thing, it’s a primal language for all of us.”