Blue (piano concerto)

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Blue is a piano concerto by British composer Matthew King, composed specially for the autistic savant pianist Derek Paravicini. The concerto grew out of an improvisation session between the pianist and composer for BBC Radio 4 programme called The Inner World of Music.[1] during which King and Paravicini extemporised in numerous styles. Fascinated by Paravicini's ability to improvise using advanced harmonies, similar to Ravel or Scryabin, King improvised with him for several sessions, slowly devising a work that came to use a number of themes from Gershwin as the basis for a large single movement piece in extended Sonata Form. A number of themes appear upside down. The concerto begins with a depiction of musical chaos, out of which thematic ideas gradually appear.

The concerto was premiered at the South Bank Centre in London with Derek Paravicini as soloist, and the Orchestra of St John's, conducted by John Lubbock in 2011.[2] The collaboration between Matthew King and Derek Paravicini was the subject of a feature on BBC News in September 2011. [3]


  1. ^ "The Inner World of Music - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Derek Paravicini premieres new piano concerto and plays the Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue at South Bank". Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Blind, autistic and a musical genius". BBC News. Retrieved 11 April 2018.