Lou Walinsky has worked as a freelance musician for over 40 years, performing as a soloist and in jazz, pop, and klezmer bands, including his own jazz ensemble. Lou has given solo performances throughout his career, as he worked on his concepts of arranging and improvising songs, that have developed into his Piano Works concerts. Some of the venues at which he has performed his solo concerts include the Delaware Art Museum (Wilmington, DE), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Wash., D.C.), the Philadelphia Art Alliance, The Free Library of Philadelphia, the Sedgwick Cultural Center (Philadelphia), and Cafe Improv at the Princeton Arts Council (Princeton, NJ).
Other musical experiences of Lou’s include accompanying classical, jazz, and pop singers, collaborating with dancers, poets, and an improvisational theater group, and composing and performing his own songs. He has created and performed programs of music and stories, entitled Music and Tales, for elementary school aged children, in schools and recreation centers and he has also conducted music programs for elders in senior centers, independent living facilities, and nursing homes. Lou has taught piano for most of his career. For about 15 years, Lou worked in elementary and middle schools in the School District of Philadelphia, where he taught general music classes and conducted choirs.
Lou was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for 2019-2020, which funded concerts at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood, PA, and at Inglis House and KleinLife Community Center, both in Philadelphia.
He was featured as part of WHYY’s House Concert Series in 2020, playing his original song “Blues-Like”: https://whyy.org/episodes/lou-walinsky/
During the pandemic, Lou has been active recording numerous videos of his piano arrangements, and has made online appearances at Germantown Jewish Centre’s “Klezmas” celebration and at Mt. Airy Neighbors pre-holiday Music Fest (both institutions are in Philadelphia).
Lou has produced two solo albums of piano arrangements: Music From Many Places, in 1996, and Lou Walinsky Piano Arrangements: Original Interpretations of Standards, in 2018.
Lou began his classical piano studies with Max Koffs and Sarah Freed in Philadelphia, starting at the age of 9 and continuing throughout college. After receiving his BA from Temple University, he continued classical studies with Michelle Wilt at the Dalcroze School of Music in New York City. In New York, he also studied with composer Frank Wigglesworth, and with jazz artists Hank Jones, Roland Hanna, Jimmy Giuffre, and Mike Garson. After returning to Philadelphia, he attended Chestnut Hill College, where he received his state music teaching certification credentials. He continued piano studies for many years with Piano Wellness Director Sheila Paige, with whom he learned Taubman and other techniques for piano.