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BBC: Appeal over mystery 'piano man'
16 May, 2005
The mystery patient is described as tall and thin
A man who has not uttered a word since being found wandering and confused has stunned care workers by giving a virtuoso piano performance. The man was wearing a soaking wet black suit and tie when he was picked up by police in Sheerness, Kent, on 7 April.
His talent came to light after staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital gave the man a pen and paper in the hope he would write his name.Instead the patient drew very detailed pictures of a grand piano. The man shocked staff with a performance of classical music after Mr Camp showed him the piano in the hospital's chapel. Mr Camp said: "When we took him to the chapel piano it really was amazing. He has not spoken since the day we picked him up. The man has since written music, which has been verified as genuine manuscript.
He is now being held in a secure mental health unit in north Kent while an assessment is carried out. Mr Camp said he was "extremely distressed" and may have suffered a trauma.
Anyone who has information about The Piano Man is urged to call the National Missing Persons Helpline on 0500 700700.
TimesOnline: Riddle of pianist who will not speak
The 6ft musician — dubbed The Piano Man — is believed to have suffered a nervous breakdown which has deprived him of his memory and left him unable to communicate except through drawings and a remarkable ability for music.
After being found by police he was driven to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, where he was able to communicate with doctors and nurses only by drawing a Swedish flag and an intricate sketch of a grand piano.
He has since been transferred to a psychiatric unit, where he has been treating patients and staff to brilliant performances of his favourite works.
He appears to be a professional pianist and has amazed everyone who has heard him.
“Away from the piano he starts to breathe very quickly and shies away from people.”
Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
Prima facie, he appears to be someone doing a relatively sophisticated David Helfgott impersonation.
A helpline set up to establish the identity of a man found walking streets dressed as a concert pianist has been flooded with calls.
The man has not uttered a word since police picked him up last month - instead he has been giving long virtuoso performances on a piano.
All efforts to communicate with the shy and agitated man, aged in his 20s or early 30s, have failed.
The helpline has been inundated with calls, with at least one definite lead.
Mr Camp said: "A name has been given of a possible person from the Sussex area.
It says in the Swedish newspaper aftonbladet that i draw a picture of the Swedish flag in the hospital www.aftonbladet.se... its in swedish so I don't know if it helps. I can try an translate it if you want.
"The only other way is if we get expert people working with him who are able to use his music and get his [identity]."
Not to be too jaded and cynical, but is there a resonable chance that this is a publicity stunt of some sort?
The fact that "All labels have been removed from his clothing" makes me suspicious.
Occam would say this is a stunt, or a nut gone walkabout.
Maintaining a "character" 24/7 is extremely difficult