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12 March 2013, 19:20
The YouTube sensation surprised passengers stranded at London's St Pancras International Station, performing an impromptu concert after her Eurostar train was cancelled.
Reading a newspaper or buying a coffee might be the ordinary response upon hearing your train is cancelled, but not for pianist Valentina Lisitsa. The Ukranian performer burst into an impromptu rendition of music by Rachmaninov on a public piano at London's St Pancras International Station.
The pianist, who found fame after posting her classical performances on YouTube, was in the UK for the release of her album, Rachmaninov, but was unable to return home to Paris after Eurostar services were affected by bad weather. A combination of commuters, passers-by and stranded passengers stopped to appreciate Valentina's free concert, which she thought might raise the spirits of those waiting at the station.
She said: “My Eurostar train back to Paris was cancelled and I just thought, ‘why not do some piano practice?’ I normally practice about 12 hours a day anyway, and I thought a bit of Rachmaninov might cheer up some of my fellow stranded passengers.”
The public piano is one of the UK's Street Pianos, a scheme which has seen encourages passers by of any standard to play the instruments and share their performances online. More than 700 pianos have now been installed in 30 cities across the globe, from New York to London, bearing the simple invitation 'Play Me, I’m Yours.'