The nation’s favourite instrument, the piano, will be celebrated in a new five-part series on Channel 4.
Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, each week, talented amateur 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.
However, what the piano performers don’t know is that two of the most acclaimed and successful performers in the world – Lang Lang who is widely regarded as the greatest classical pianist of the modern era and platinum selling pop superstar Mika – will be secretly watching and one performer will be given a once in a lifetime offer by them, 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.
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.”
The Piano begins this February on Channel 4.