Beckenham pianist performs marathon Chopin cycle

PUBLISHED: 11:53 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 05 April 2016

Warren Mailley-Smith is performing all of Chopin's works

Warren Mailley-Smith is performing all of Chopin's works

Benjamin Ealovega 2015

The concerts are being held at St John Smith’s Square

A pianist from Beckenham is halfway through a series of concerts covering the complete cycle of Chopin works - all 230 of them.

Warren Mailley-Smith, who lives on Village Way, says he has had a ‘great reaction’ to the concerts he has played so far.

“You get a real buzz from performing, but it is the icing on the cake when people say they have enjoyed it and come along to the next one,” he added.

Mr Mailley-Smith grew up in Crawley and studied law at the University of Warwick.

After winning a keyboard prize in the second year of his studies, he performed a Rachmaninov recital at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and law took second place to his love of music.

He told the Bromley Times that Chopin’s music has an instant appeal and is hugely enjoyable to play.

“Chopin is one of those composers who has never really gone out of fashion. He was an amazing pianist and he had a knack of writing in a way that is nice to play even when there are millions of notes.

“He has these amazing, memorable tunes. He was all about singing and melody, which gets people hooked when they hear it.”

Mr Mailley-Smith’s success has given him the opportunity to perform before the Prince of Wales, which he described as ‘a great privilege’.

When he was younger, Mr Mailley-Smith had to sneak off to pursue his love for classical music because it was seen as uncool by his peers - but he believes it should be for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter what your background is,” he explained. “It is about emotions - the highs and lows of being alive.

“As soon as you are experiencing it, you want to hear more. The challenge is getting people to listen in the first place.”

The next concert in the series will begin on Friday (April 8) at 7.30pm at St John Smith’s Square, with Polish Mazury dancers - an inspiration for Chopin - performing before the event.

Tickets for the concerts are priced at between £15 and £20.

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