Highest concert: Camden piano restorer dragging instrument all the way to Himalayas for Chopin gig

PUBLISHED: 17:59 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 22 August 2018

Desmond Gentle  from Camden Piano Rescue mending the Challen grand piano that he will be taking to the Himalayas. Picture: Desmond Gentle

Desmond Gentle from Camden Piano Rescue mending the Challen grand piano that he will be taking to the Himalayas. Picture: Desmond Gentle


Intrepid Camden piano restorer Desmond Gentle is embarking on yet another music-themed adventure: this time he’s taking another piano to the Himalayas where it will be part of a classical concert at 5,000-metre altitude.

Desmond Gentle on one of his previous treks. Picture: Jared KotomskiDesmond Gentle on one of his previous treks. Picture: Jared Kotomski

The project, known as Chopin in the Clouds, will see Desmond and a team of adventurers drag the piano to Singela Pass in the Zanskar mountains in India.

There, a performance based on Chopin’s work and conducted remotely by Cambridge prodigy Alex Stobbs, 28, will take place inside a concert hall made from recycled plastic bottles. The structure, which will be built by volunteers, will be used as a disaster shelter afterwards.

Desmond told the Ham&High: “What’s most amazing is that this is truly a Camden project. Everyone on the trip got involved because they passed through the Camden Piano Rescue shop.

“It’s a really important thing to do, and we’re also running a campaign to take people’s ‘messages in a bottle’ with us to the concert.”

The concert will take place on September 6.

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