Homeless Beethoven pianist, 26, is found dead on the streets

Homeless Beethoven pianist, 26, is found dead on the streets


norman lebrecht

October 26, 2015

Five months ago we introduced you to Alan, a homeless man in a soaked sleeping bag who played Beethoven on a piano in Newcastle station, in the northeast of England.

We begged passers-by: ‘Do not avert your eyes’.

Today, we have news that Alan has been found dead, surrounded by needles.

Go home. Watch the Amy Winehouse documentary. Do something.


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    One of the saddest I have seen.

  • Malcolm James says:

    Whilst I know nothing about this specific case, maybe he was offered help and refused it. There was a woman sleeping rough near my home about 10 years ago and she had been offered help, but preferred to live on the streets and was presumably mentally ill. Heaven only knows whether she’s still alive today. This man appears to have been a drug addict from the report. You can only section someone if they are an immediate danger to themselves or others and it is sadly impossible to save many people from themselves.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    What a tragic story.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    When you say “do something”, what is it that you think readers should do?
    The problem with drug addiction is that not much can be done unless the addict wants to stop – in which case there is help available.
    If there was something that friends/family/doctors/social workers etc. could do to prevent an addict or alcoholic from using or drinking, then they would doing it. Unfortunately they are powerless over the addict until he/she wants to give up.

    • Eddie Mars says:

      Perhaps we could look at the New Victorians like the oaf Eric Pickles, or Gideon with his three houses? And ask the what part of their “austerity” focuses on the British public… or isn’t it all really aimed at more profits for more bankers?

      You write about shooting up stuff in Gateshead car park… as though it’s some kind of glamorous lifestyle alternative to going to Eton?

      If we are looking for the guilty in this shocking case, then our focus falls foremost on Porky Pickles and IM Dunkin’-Donuts – two men drawing juicy salaries and chunky expenses for cheering yah-boo-sucks at PM’s Questions as their sole contribution to Britain.

    • Marg says:

      “Do something …” At the very least make a sizeable donation to a proven rehab program. They are all grossly u der funded. You might also like to help with serving a meal in a homeless shelter one night every three months.

  • Una says:

    Homelessness is one thing – and I’ve worked for many years in London for the homeless in Crisis for Christmas. Some were even lawyers and whatever who had ended up being repossessed. But when you’re dealing with drug addiction and a mental illness, and yes, the possibility of refusing any help, it’s hard to know what to do. All very sad and certainly leaving me a feeling of hopelessness as I read it all.

  • padmakumar says:

    Which is very sad