Introducing Concerto

A unique musical experience inspired by Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand and featuring world-renowned concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy. Infamous pianist Paul Wittgenstein commissioned Ravel to write him a concerto after he lost his right arm during the First World War. At the same moment, assassin Gavrilo Princip was in prison, his withered arm tied up with piano wire. Unravelling narratives such as these surround this music’s composition – and together they weave a true story that spans 100 years.

Concerto explores how Ravel was lost in a forest for 10 days as war raged all around him. Musical manuscript will fall from the sky like snow on a battlefield. Doctors will persuade shell-shocked soldiers to play again. An apple crate will become a piano keyboard. Two conductors will become assassins. An audience will become an orchestra. And a pianist will play. Michael Pinchbeck’s Concerto is a deconstructed and re-orchestrated exploration of the legacy of war and the healing power of music to overcome tragedy.

Commissioned by Attenborough Arts Centre (Leicester), Nottingham Lakeside Arts (Nottingham) and Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. Supported using public funding from Arts Council England.

Image: Julian Hughes