Love Productions is to make a new five-part series for Channel 4 that will seek out talented amateur pianists.
Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, each week, talented pianists will be invited to play on public pianos in London St Pancras, Leeds, Glasgow and Birmingham train stations, sharing their stories and music with the great British public.
From nonagenarians who have been playing for eighty years to twelve-year-olds who have never played in pubic before, those who taught themselves to play the classics in lockdown to players who feel the music, composing pieces about their life experiences and someone with no sight who against all the odds has mastered Chopin, commuters in train stations across the country will be stopped in their tracks as heartfelt, emotional and uplifting performances take place.
The performers will be secretly watched by Lang Lang, who is widely regarded as the greatest classical pianist of the modern era, and platinum selling pop star Mika. One performer will be given an invitation to perform on one of the world’s most prestigious stages.
The final will bring together four amazing pianists – one from each train station – at The Royal Festival Hall, where they will showcase their talent in solo performances in front of an audience of thousands.
The Piano was commissioned for Channel 4 by Shaminder Nahal, Head of Specialist Factual and Madonna Benjamin, Senior Commissioning Editor for Documentaries. The five-part series will be made by Love Productions with executive producers Richard McKerrow and Luke Byrne and series editor Ted Hill.
Shaminder Nahal said: “It’s so thrilling to be celebrating such an array of incredibly talented pianists – many of them self-taught – in such an emotional and uplifting series. Claudia Winkelman, the fantastic judges Mika and Lang Lang, and the brilliant team from Love, take us on a journey through London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds – and finally the Royal Festival Hall, creating a joyful and moving portrait of Britain, full of humanity, surprises, and the transformative power of piano-playing.”
Richard McKerrow said: “The making of this brand-new series, The Piano has been a creatively exhilarating and uplifting experience. We’ve been able to work with such a broad and diverse range of pianists bravely expressing themselves in such a passionate heartfelt way on public pianos in railway stations across the country. Looked after so generously by Claudia Winkleman and observed by the extraordinary Mika and Lang Lang, this remarkable trio bring a magical, soulful quality to this television series which we hope feels rare and unusual.”
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