The 2017-18 Subscription Concert series began last night in fine style, with a hugely entertaining evening with Harry the Piano, an extraordinary pianist who improvises on themes ranging from famous Mozart melodies to cartoons, and in styles from Wagnerian opera to reggae.
Harry began his career as resident pianist at the Groucho Club in Soho, and regaled the audience with tales of his career in entertainment, illustrating it with incredible improvised performances of everything from popular Gershwin tunes to an extended improvisation of the theme from Scooby-Doo in the style of Mozart!
In each performance, popular tunes from opera, the symphonic repertoire, television and film, pop music and jazz appeared as if by magic, rather as if a chef had randomly thrown ingredients from the larder together to create a strangely appealing and quite unique dish!
Earlier in the day, Harry had given a workshop on improvisation techniques to the forty Music Scholars and Exhibitioners, challenging them to recognise the fingerprints of various composers and musical styles, and to use them as a basis on which to improvise.
This was an excellent evening in the presence of a world-renowned musician whose talent is not only unique, but in many ways beyond comprehension!