13-year-old blind “genius” pianist Lucy has a remarkable set of ears, as evidenced by her amazing virtuoso skills on piano. The young English lass recently displayed her chops when playing jazz standard “A Foggy Day” in duet with musical savant Derek Paravicini. Lucy and Derek are both blind and neurodivergent with complex needs, and they are also distinguished by their incredible natural talent and mastery of the piano.
In the video the pair improvise over the piece, with Lucy taking the lead part and Lucy’s teacher Daniel Bath supporting the dynamic duo on double bass. Lucy plays in an upbeat and cheerful style, not holding anything back as she expertly plays the melodic lead parts. Check out the performance below.
Lucy, who hails from Leeds, came to broader public attention earlier this year after her appearance on the Channel 4 series The Piano, hosted by world-renowned Chinese piano virtuoso Lang Lang. On the show Lucy plays Chopin’s notoriously difficult Nocturne in B-flat Minor, leading Lang Lang to exclaim “Wow, it’s unbelievable that she can play this piece. How does she study? In a way she’s a genius. I’m speechless; I really don’t know what to say.”
In the segment, which you can watch below, Lucy’s mother explains that “when she was born, we were told that there was something wrong. Lucy’s blind and it’s all sensory. It can be mental health, autism – it can be absolutely anything.” However she says that there’s one thing that can make Lucy calm and happy: “Music – the piano.”
We get to see a different side of Lucy’s playing when she tackles the Chopin piece, where she sets an enigmatic mood with delicate playing. Later on the show, Lucy performs at the 2700-seat Royal Festival Hall in London, playing Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy, which is even more technically demanding than the previous pieces. The young prodigy makes a big impression on the audience and the emotion on their faces is clear to see. Her playing amazed the judges, and in addition to getting a hearty standing ovation from the audience, she was crowned the unofficial winner of the competition.
Fans online were in awe of Lucy’s skills and spirit, adding comments such as “She has music reverberating out of every single cell in her body. Amazing!” and “The most delightful part of watching Lucy play is the joy she gets from playing herself. Yes, this young woman is a remarkable pianist but it is the joy she shares that gives me the most joy.”
Lucy has continued to build her profile after her big TV break and subsequently played at the King’s Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, performing a flawless rendition of Bach’s Prelude in C. She followed this up with a performance on World Piano Day for the unveiling of a plaque for famed Leeds pianist Dame Fanny Waterman. Lucy has further TV appearances in the works as well.