Composer with dementia gets to conduct his own piece

Composer with dementia gets to conduct his own piece


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2021

A man living with dementia, retired music teacher Paul Harvey, captured widespread attention when the BBC Philharmonic recorded a two-minute piece he had improvised on four keys on his home piano. Performed by a BBC orchestra, it attracted a £1 million donation to an Alzheimers charity.

A year on, Paul, 81, has got to conduct it himself.


  • The View from America says:

    And now you know … the rest of the story.

  • Nick says:

    Does not look or act demented!! Wonderful, good for him!
    Good piano playing, good conducting….nothing more to ask for!

  • christopher storey says:

    More power to his elbow! I am deeply sceptical about some of these diagnoses of dementia , because if you try the self-test questions , many of them are very subjective . Frankly, I cannot remember who this week’s Foreign Secretary is, and nor do I care very much. Equally , trying to remember a fictitious address ( it is always 42 West Street Kensington!) of no relevance or value to the subject of the test is just arrant nonsense.