Meet the ‘Greek God’ who’s the wild card of Proms at St Jude’s

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 June 2016

proms at st jude's toby purser orion beau pluto and tallis

proms at st jude's toby purser orion beau pluto and tallis

Archant

Classical performers tend to keep the name they’re born with: foreign complications only add to credibility, and changes can look phoney. Better to be Piotr Anderszewski than Midori, Kennedy or (God forbid) Vanessa-Mae.

But the Greek/German pianist playing Wednesday lunchtime at St Jude’s is throwing caution to the wind.

Born Wassili Zampouridis (which sounds fine to me, it only takes some practice), he’s become Beau Pluto.

When I asked him why, he said he hoped it would be memorable, and that people would associate Pluto with the Greek God rather than the Disney dog. I hope he’s right.

A former student at the Munich Hochschule, he’s only 20, living now in London, and impressively ambitious – making plans for CDs, music videos, and a career on the alternative, edgier fringes of the classical performance world.

But he plays standard repertoire, without tricks: Schumann,Brahms, Debussy feature at St Jude’s.

And if he plays as he talks, it will be with an arrestingly youthful idealism and commitment.

He’s the wild card in this year’s Proms. And the name, if nothing else, stands out.

Beau Pluto at St Jude’s NW11, Wed 29, 12.45pm

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