BBC Piano Learners take to the stage in Cardiff for first performance

Date: 25.10.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.15
Four celebrities from the world of television, radio and sport are preparing for their first public performance on the piano this October, as they join BBC National Orchestra of Wales on stage for a BBC Radio 3 gala concert.

The four BBC Piano Learners, who just six weeks ago began learning the basics of playing the piano, will give their first public performance in a live gala concert at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay, on Monday 29 October, 7.30pm. The concert, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and presented by Petroc Trelawny, is supporting BBC Children in Need and is the culmination of the six-week Piano Season on the BBC.

The four celebrities, who took up the challenge of learning the piano from scratch, are:

  • BBC Radio 1 Early Breakfast show presenter Dev
  • Team GB’s Samantha Murray who brought home the final medal of London 2012 in the Women’s Modern Pentathlon
  • BBC Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood
  • Tommy Sandhu from BBC Asian Network

Taking the final seat for the performance of a specially arranged version of a piece by composer Erno Dohnanyi will be Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood, an enthusiastic advocate for the instrument.

Joining the celebrities on stage for this special concert will be some of classical music’s best-loved pianists – with performances from Noriko Ogawa, Thomas Yu (Joint Winner of the Yamaha Amateur Piano Competition), Alexandra Dariescu, Kathryn Stott and Nicholas McCarthy - the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music and star of the Paralympic Games' closing ceremony.

The evening’s music-making will conclude with an appearance by Valentina Lisitsa, who joins conductor Grant Llewellyn and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2. Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa, one of the most watched classical musicians on the web, shot to fame via social media and has since sold-out concert performances at the Royal Albert Hall.

Tickets for this gala concert at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Monday 29 October, at 7pm, are £8.50-£11.50 (discounts available) and are available from Orchestra’s Audience Line, by calling 0800 052 1812. Alternatively, tickets can be booked through the Wales Millennium Centre, by calling 02920 636464 or visiting

You can also listen to the Piano Season on the BBC Gala Concert live on BBC Radio 3 from 7.30pm on Monday 29 October 2012.

To donate to Children in Need in connection with this concert please go to and click on the picture of Pudsey.

For more information about the Orchestra, visit their website at

Notes to editors

BBC Hoddinott Hall is the home of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and houses their rehearsal, recording and administrative facilities. It is part of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, and opened in January 2009.

The BBC Children in Need Appeal is a charity registered in England and Wales (802052) and Scotland (SC039557) whose aim is to make a positive change to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. We will realise this vision by supporting, promoting and publicising work that addresses the challenges that children and young people face and work that builds their skills and resilience.

For more information on BBC Children in Need please visit, or follow us on Facebook at or Twitter @BBCCiN.

BBC Radio 3 is the home of classical music. The station also broadcasts a wide range of cultural programming including jazz, world music, arts and over 30 new drama programmes a year. BBC Radio 3 features more live classical music programming than any other and is the home of the BBC Proms, broadcasting every Prom live and over 600 complete concerts a year. The station is also the most significant commissioner of new musical works in the country and is committed to supporting new talent, composers, writers and new young performers through schemes such as World Routes Academy, New Generation Artists and New Generation Thinkers.