To raise money for music and children's charities, concert pianist Anthony Hewitt - the Olympianist - will cycle with piano 'in tow' from Land's End to John O'Groats to complete 1,200 miles in 21 days. With a piano trailing in the BeethoVAN, the avid cyclist will cover up to 100 miles a day, giving 27 concerts en route. The Herculean journey across Britain's hilly countryside will see Anthony ascend more than 20,000 metres – the equivalent of more than twice the elevation of Mt. Everest. He will perform in established venues and remote locations with his piano on a pop-up stage on the back of the BeethoVAN.
His piano odyssey encompasses concert venues, market squares, cliff-tops, quarries and fields. Highlights of the tour include a concert with the Manchester Camerata, a recital in the Market Square at Newbury Spring Festival, a cliff-top performance in Portland and a concert on the shores of Lake Windermere.
The repertoire for the tour has been chosen to convey a sense of journey, energy, movement, dynamism and excitement reflecting Anthony's challenge. The concerts will include masterworks of the piano repertoire by Beethoven, Janá?ek, Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Brahms. A new commission by Stephen Goss, aptly named Piano Cycle, will be premiered at the Swaledale Festival on May 19th.
For the first time in piano history, the Olympianist's followers will be able to watch part of each recital from the performer's viewpoint. Each day he will perform one of the 21 movements from Schumann's Carnaval Op. 9 in chronological order and film himself with a Go Pro Hero 2 Sports Camera attached to his head.
Each movement will be uploaded to his website for viewing. This will be the first time that a professional musician will film himself in concert. The Olympianist's progress on tour is also traceable on Twitter, via a Fleetsmart tracker and on his website.
Anthony Hewitt's communicative and virtuosic pianism has won him many plaudits worldwide as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras. He was a prize-winner of the William Kapell International Piano Competition and has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, USA and the Royal Philharmonic in London. He is also the founding Artistic Director of the Ulverston International Music Festival.
His epic journey will raise money for charities including Mayor of London's Fund For Musicians, Musequality, CLIC Sargent, Get Kids Going! and Classic FM Foundation.
Anthony is currently in training for his Olympian journey, both musically and physically. He cycles with Twickenham cycling club every week and will perform at various venues across London in the coming months. He will be performing at the Wigmore Hall on 2nd May with his piano trio, Dimension Trio. On 26th April he will perform Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 with Orpheus Sinfonia at St George's, Hanover Square.
Repertoire Highlights will be Beethoven's 'Moonlight' and 'Pathetique' Sonatas; Schubert Impromptus from Op. 90 Chopin Fantasy-Impromptu, Nocturnes, Barcarolle Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5 Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 Brahms Piano Quintet (with Manchester Camerata) Janá?ek Sonata I:X:1905 'From the Street'.
"I am very excited about this herculean task. It embodies the spirit of the ancient games, which incorporated musical competitions into sporting events for normal citizens" said Anthony Hewitt.
Penair School: An afternoon for children.
Formal concert in evening indoors
The Old Chapel
BeethoVAN concert: CathedrAl West Front
BeethoVAN concert: Poltimore House estate grounds
Chapter House, Exeter Cathedral
BeethoVAN concert: Tout Quarry
Cliff top concert overlooking Chesil Bay
Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust - Drill Hall,