World Premiere of Concerto to mark centenary of WW1

Axis Arts Centre, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Crewe, hosts the world premiere of a new performance (23 February 2017) by award-winning theatre-maker Michael Pinchbeck. Concerto features two recent graduates of Manchester Metropolitan, Ryan O’Shea and Katt Perry, and world-renowned pianist Nicholas McCarthy.

A unique musical experience inspired by Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Concerto is now touring the UK and mainland Europe to mark the centenary of the events that inspired it. The infamous pianist, Paul Wittgenstein, commissioned Ravel to write him a concerto after he lost his right arm during the First World War. The assassin that triggered that conflict, Gavrilo Princip, was kept in shackles in prison in Terezin, his withered arm tied up with piano wire, fading away into the snow. Unravelling narratives surround this piece of music – and together they weave a true story that spans 100 years of history. Experience a deconstructed and re-orchestrated exploration of the legacy of war and the healing power of music. Musical manuscript will fall from the sky like snow on a battlefield. A conductor will become an assassin. An audience will become an orchestra. And a pianist will play.

As part of Michael Pinchbeck’s performance of Concerto, concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy will play Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major written for Paul Wittgenstein in 1929 / 30. Nicholas was born in 1989 without his right hand and only began to play the piano at the late age of 14 after being inspired by a friend play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata. Having once been told that he would never succeed as a concert pianist, Nicholas would not be discouraged and went on to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. His graduation in July 2012 drew press headlines around the world, being the only one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music in its 130 year history.

Axis Arts Centre brings contemporary theatre, dance, music and spoken word to Crewe and surrounding areas. All shows are open to the public.


Listings Information


Thursday 23 February 2017 7.30pm

Axis Arts Centre

Tickets: £8 / £5

Book online:

Box Office:  0843 2080 500

Book: Axis Box Office is open 9am – 4pm. (Please call to confirm on 0161 247 5302 before travelling)

Axis Arts Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University – Cheshire Campus, Crewe Green Road,

Crewe, Cheshire CW1 5DU


Web:         Facebook: Axis Arts Centre, Crewe            Twitter:@axisartscentre