LETTER: Standing ovation for top pianist

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As a classical music ‘twitcher’ I had to see a ‘world top pianist’ playing in Manchester.

A programme, including Rachmaninov’s third piano concerto for two pianos made me very sceptical.

In the hall, my neighbour, who knew him in the 70s, had travelled from Nottingham for a memorable concert.

She was correct but his playing, with brilliant finger work and musicianship with his partner, was accompanied with quiet singing and grunting.

David Helfgott had been institutionalised for over ten years for the treatment of schizophrenia. His response to this adversity has now been shown worldwide.

He was rewarded with a unique standing ovation by those present. To the Halle and other concert goers, in the words of a famous Norwich football director, “Where were you?”

Keith Boothby