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Derek Paravicini premieres new piano concerto and plays the Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue at South Bank

Pianist Derek Paravicini is to premiere a new piano concerto written specially for him by composer Matthew King in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 28th September 2011. This is the first time a piano concerto has been composed for someone with severe learning difficulties and autism. Matthew King, whose recent works include a piece for the London Symphony Orchestra, worked with Derek over a period of months to write the piece, which is based on themes by one of Derek’s great loves: George Gershwin. The result is spectacular: a new work of muscular virtuosity balanced with moments of extreme tenderness and insight – a testament to Derek’s unique musical abilities. Derek has learnt the complex piano part entirely by ear.

The orchestra on the night will be the renowned Orchestra of St Johns, under the baton of their founder, John Lubbock. John and Derek have been working together for over 10 years, designing concerts specially for children with autism. This will be their first venture together on the South Bank. Other works to be performed on 28th September include Gerswhin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which Derek played for the first time two years ago at the QEH.

Derek made legal history last year when his family’s application to the Court of Protection, which controls the lives of adults who are incapable of managing their own affairs, was the first to be made public. This concert is the first major step towards furthering Derek’s career that his family have made since they were given the authority to determine his welfare and commercial future.

Derek was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Roehampton, London, www.roehampton.ac.uk  in recognition of his unique musical achievements – the first person with severe learning difficulties ever to gain such a distinction and recognition by the international academic community.

Pianist aims to run a feature on Derek in a future issue.

For information about the concert visit:http://ticketing.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/music/classical/tickets/orchestra-of-st-johns-57171
For more information about Derek, go to his website

See the feature that appeared on Derek in The Guardian in 2007:

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28/09/2011 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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