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Nicholas McCarthy pays tribute to an Austrian Hero in a special London Remembrance Concert

28. October 2015

One-handed star pianist Nicholas McCarthy will perform the Ravel Piano For Left Hand at St John's Smith Square on 11 November. The performance is a tribute to Austrian concert pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in battle during the First World War.

This will be the first time since Paul Wittgenstein at the 1951 Proms that a one-handed concert pianist has performed the great and defiant Ravel Piano Concerto for left hand with full Orchestra.

Nicholas McCarthy was born in 1989 without his right hand and only began to play the piano at the late age of 14.  He has faced his fair share of doubters and obstacles but never gave up on his dream of becoming a concert pianist.  He has made history graduating from the Royal College of Music and performing alongside super band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympic closing ceremony and 2015 sees a Warner Classic’s top 10 album. Nicholas’s international career has seen him play all over the world and across press, television and media.

The Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand was commissioned by Austrian concert pianist Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm fighting during the First World War. Defiantly refusing to give up on his career, despite losing his right hand, he commissioned leading composers of the 20th Century to write left hand alone concertos, Ravel’s being the most famous of these. 

Nicholas will tell of Paul Wittgenstein’s powerful struggle to overcome wartime injury to pursue his concert career no matter what. “Without Paul Wittgenstein", he says, "I wouldn’t have the career I have today”

Nicholas joins the Kent Sinfonia Orchestra with other soloists and conductors for the concert, which takes place at St John’s Smith Square, London, on Armistice Day, November 11 at 7.30pm. For tickets visit or call 020 7222 1061.