The humblest pianist in the whole, wide world

The humblest pianist in the whole, wide world


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2015

There is one new entry this week in the top ten US classical best-sellers, as measured by Nielsen Soundscan.

In at number five, outselling Downton Abbey, Joshua Bell and Soya Yocheva is an American pianist, Stephen Limbaugh.

His debut album is called PANTS.

What he thinks of himself can be seen on his website here.

Be alarmed.

stephen limbaugh


  • Boring Fileclerk says:

    OK, I laughed, but he’ll be forgotten six months from now.

    • Stephen Limbaugh says:

      Your prediction is wrong sir. I scored the #1 documentary this year which is in theaters now. Audiences are raving about my rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner which closes the film. It is scored for 75 in the orchestra and 100 in the choir and will be available when the movie leaves theaters.

      I win.

      • Candace Limbaugh Gonzalez says:

        I enjoyed your playing immensely. Thank you. After studying piano & organ for 14 years I only wish I had your talent. Alas, I did not.

  • Doug says:

    These charlatans are a dime a dozen here in the US. But I like his angle, self-parody. we need more of that. Now if there was only a Chinese pianist who would balance out the banality, smugness and self absorption of Lang Lang…

  • Alexander Frey says:

    Norman, take a look at my facebook posting today (you and I are FB friends). I address this very issue by contrasting the sort of music making found in classical music today with the art of Arthur Rubinstein whose birthday was yesterday.

    I think Limbaugh is perhaps actually parodying the current fads in classical music, and it is through this schtick that he’ll actually become famous. What he does seems to be more akin to performance art in the Warholian sense rather than classical music. He seems to be a mixture of Liberace, Yanni and Ken Russell.

  • Harold Raitt says:

    This is so obviously parody, that the joke’s on anyone who hasn’t spotted that from the satirical use of edits in the video, to the quotes he picks in his biog, to the fact he’s actually playing an electronic stage piano embedded in a white grand piano case.

    Next headline: “Monty Python characters think they really are Jesus / King Arthur / running a pet shop”?

  • Abram kreeger says:

    The pictures say otherwise – Nelson Freire is the champion at mr humble.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    How long before someone books him?

  • Peter Donohoe says:

    I made a farily substantial comment on this after seeing and hearing is video, but it seems to have been censored.

  • Stuart Johnson says:

    Totally horrible of course