Blind pianist Bernard d’Ascoli will be giving the last of this year’s concerts for the Joanna Leach Memorial Recitals series, which concludes in Axminster.

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Blind since the age of four, Bernard d’Ascoli won first prize in the Barcelona International Piano Competition at the age of 19.

His success in the Leeds Piano Competition, in 1981, has led to Bernard being in great demand, playing in many prestigious world-wide venues.

His particular affinity with the music of Chopin, shared with Joanna Leach, led to their collaboration in recording the complete Scherzi and Impromptus and a double album of all the Nocturnes, produced and edited by Joanna for her Athene-Minerva label. The CDs were enthusiastically received by many critics.

Denby Richards, of Musical Opinion said: “Soak in Bernard d’Ascoli’s delight in flinging his deft fingers into dramatic bouts of virtuosity, yet never losing the overall shape and purpose of the musical architecture.”

Yaltah Menuhin said: “Bernard’s playing awakened us to all the infinite potential of the piano, beyond human limitations. The instrument lived under his hands as he invited us into his magic world.”

Bernard will be giving the final recital this year in the Joanna Leach Memorial Recitals series in The Minster, Axminster on Saturday, November 3, at 7:30pm, in support of Hospiscare.

Tickets are now on sale (£10) at the Archway Bookshop and Honiton TIC.

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