One-handed pianist performs concerto written for veteran

Nicholas McCarthy at the piano Credit: ITV News

The world's only one-handed concert pianist has performed the Ravel Piano Concerto for left hand at a special Concert of Remembrance at St John's Smith Square in London.

Nicholas McCarthy, who was born without his right hand, spoke to ITV News presenter Julie Etchingham ahead of the performance about what it meant to play the piece on Armistice Day.

The concerto was originally commissioned by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had to have his right arm amputated after he was shot during the First World War.

Paul Wittgenstein was determined not to give up on his career as a musician and commissioned leading 20th Century composers, including Ravel and Prokofiev, to write works for the left hand alone.

His efforts left a body of work that Nicholas ended up studying in is own career. He is the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music.

Nicholas's performance was the first time the Ravel piano concerto has been performed since the 1951 Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

He told ITV News: "Through Ravel's music, I want to make people really remember and make people really feel what so many people gave up for them and for all of us."