Shy 15-year-old pianist surprises an entire airport with virtuosic Beethoven

15 June 2021, 17:18 | Updated: 16 June 2021, 09:18

Pianist Christian Blandford
Pianist Christian Blandford. Picture: YouTube

By Kyle Macdonald

The moment a delightfully modest teenage prodigy showed his talent to an airport, and the world.

Watch a young pianist stun travelers at Geneva Airport with one of the most thrilling moments of classical music.

The video begins in an airport lounge where the modest and unassuming musician has seen a public piano nearby. As his dad talks to him, the young pianist nervously fidgets with a water bottle.

Read more: 10 works of Beethoven that actually changed the world

“Believe me,” encourages his dad. “Everyone wants to hear you play piano... it’s free entertainment. Trust me.”

And so the teenage pianist timidly steps towards the instrument. With a squeak of the piano stool, he sits down, calms those nerves, and begins to play. Then the music takes over. Enjoy the wonderful moment below.

Young man shows incredible ability to play the piano in Geneva Airport

That day, the onlookers in the airport lounge were treated to one of the most virtuosic pieces in the classical repertoire. The finale to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 (‘Moonlight’) features rapidly ascending arpeggios, quick fortissimo chords and breathless figurations, before moments of Beethoven’s customary melancholic lyricism.

Listen: Calm Piano playlist on Global Player, the official Classic FM app

And our reluctant pianist plays with precision, deep musicality and passion which flows from his fingertips. You can see the response of the waiters and onlookers, who were treated to this very special impromptu performance.

Very understandably, the footage has captured the imagination of the Internet. Millions of views. Dad was right.

Our pianist is Christian Blandford and as a child, he had been through cancer twice. He now has a fund in his name to improve the comfort of children and their families, particularly those affected by cancer, during prolonged stays in NHS hospitals. Find out more and support the fund here.

You can also follow his musical (and video game-creating) travels on his YouTube and Instagram pages.

What a pianist, and what an awesome young man. Christian, thank you for playing. You have our hearty bravos.