A passion for piano - Alistair McGowan's 'Ahhh' moment
Alistair McGowan is best known for his impressions – Boris Johnson, David Beckham and Prince Charles to name a few but in recent years these voices have been somewhat quieted by a newfound success as a classical pianist at the age of 54.
“I loved the piano as a child but gave it up when I was nine, because my passion for football was greater.” said Alistair when speaking to the Manchester Evening News. “I started playing again in my 30s but really got back into it again seriously five years ago, after a music teacher encouraged me. I’d thought I was too old to have any hope of a career in it.”
Luckily for UK audiences, it turns out he was wrong. His album – Alistair McGowan: The Piano Album – shot to No 1 in the classical charts in 2017 and has launched a successful British tour of the UK – Introductions to Classical Piano. It’s improved his life in ways he never imagined.
“I practise for around five hours a day. It’s really satisfying hearing these pieces of music coming through me and my fingers. I find it very moving and can’t quite believe it sometimes. Hearing even just one person in the audience at the end of a piece go, ‘Ahhh,’ means you’ve reached them and they’ve been moved, and that’s thrilling and fulfilling. I think I’ve found my real identity through it.”
Buxton International Festival goers will be able to experience these special moments for themselves Sun 14 July, 7.30pm-9.30pm when Alistair brings his tour to the Buxton Opera House.
Alongside tracks from the album, Alistair will play some other short classic piano pieces: from Gershwin to Grieg, Mompou to Mendelssohn, Satie to Schubert. He’ll also talk a little about the history of each piece, the composer and his own connection to the music – together with a few familiar voices!