A man with no formal education has just begun playing piano and he’s been hailed as the first blind pianists in the world.
His story of perseverance, faith and family was recently turned into a TV series called The Piano Story.
It has been made into a BBC Two documentary, The Piano, and will be broadcast in November.
The show tells the story of a man with a passion for music who was born with a condition that makes him blind.
He was born in Italy in the 1970s and his mother was diagnosed with glaucoma when he was seven.
She had a pacemaker fitted and the surgery was expensive.
She died of cancer in 2013, aged just 51.
It was during this time that the man first heard a piano.
He used to be able to play a few pieces of music and then he would become obsessed.
The family’s passion for piano was so strong that he decided to take up the instrument.
It wasn’t until he was 22 when his mother discovered his condition.
“I could never play piano at the time,” he says.
“But my brother and I played some music, and we loved the music.
He’s a piano virtuoso.
He plays all over the world.”
His parents knew what they were getting into when he told them his family had a piano teacher, and he was a regular at her lessons.
His mother is now 92 and has had the piano since he was just seven.
But it was only after she died that she realised how important her son was.
“She wanted me to start teaching,” he said.
“When she died I started teaching and it was a life changing experience for me.”
He said his father was very supportive and that he had never had to tell him to shut up about his passion.
“My father is very patient, and always encourages me to do what I want to do,” he added.
He said he has always been able to find a balance between his passion and his family’s needs.
“Sometimes I am a bit selfish and it makes me sad,” he joked.
“At the same time, my mother is very supportive.
She was the one who started teaching me how to play.
She has a piano and she always taught me to play.”
In order to be a musician, the man’s father had to learn to play the piano himself, and it wasn’t easy.
“It took me a long time to learn how to do it properly,” he recalled.
“For a long period of time I was a musician without knowing it.
I couldn’t play the music, but I could play it with my mind.”
In 2010, the BBC began a project called The Blind Piano Show, which explored the story behind the pianist.
In this programme, the story is told in the style of a classic musical drama and the viewer is invited to play along.
“We wanted to take the viewer inside the world of the blind pianos and see what it is like to be in the shoes of these people and hear their stories,” said Jon Rafferty, BBC Music’s Director of Music.
He is not a musician; he’s an artist, and his art is music.””
His journey to find his passion was a fascinating one, and one of his most important lessons was to find an instrument that allowed him to play without relying on a pacemaker.
He is not a musician; he’s an artist, and his art is music.”