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Friday, February 24, 2023

Chris rocks it to the audience on TV talent show The Piano

* Chris Sims on the keyboard at Leeds station.

A well-known musician with strong links to Llangollen enjoyed his moment of glory when he played on the new Channel 4 talent show The Piano earlier this week.

The show features talented amateur pianists performing on the instrument in public at selected train stations across Britain.

Chris Sims, an entertainer, pianist, piano tutor and composer affectionately known as “Lord Corwen” after the place where he lives, joined the other unexpected keyboard stars on the second programme in the series shot on Leeds station.

Unbeknown to the contestants it's not just a documentary for which they are being filmed, it's also a competition.

The contestants are secretly being judged and the four best of them - one from each station - will perform at the Royal Festival Hall to an audience of thousands in the final episode.

The Piano's main host is Claudia Winkleman. She is joined by two judges - Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who has performed with leading orchestras all over the world, and popular singer songwriter Mika whose hits include ‘Grace Kelly’. 

At the piano in Leeds apart from Chris Sims were players young and old who performed everything from classical music to pop pieces.

Chris himself hammered out a fast-paced rock ‘n roll selection which prompted judge Mika, hidden behind the scenes, to declare he was performing like the legendary Little Richard while Lang Lang said of him: “He’s a virtuoso.”

But despite Chris’s stylish playing it was 13-year-old Lucy, who is blind and neurodivergent, who took the honours with her captivating performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in B flat minor which had some of the onlookers on the station concourse in tears. She will go on to an appearance at the Royal Festival Hall concert.

Later Chris, who has also had lead stage roles with Llangollen Operatic Society and the Twenty Club, described the experience as “surreal, incredibly absorbing and a privilege to be a part of.”

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