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The show must go on

Photo: ITV Border

An international concert pianist from Cumbria is performing at the Ulverston Music Festival tonight using only his left hand.

Anthony Hewitt, who lives in London but grew up in Ulverston, has been bringing the World's top musicians to the town for the Music Festival for twelve years.

But this year his show was almost over when he broke his shoulder and collar bone in a cycling accident.

Initially I thought well maybe in 6 weeks it'll be fine.

"But the next morning in hospital, it was four months lay off and sort of a year before I'm back to full flexibility, so it was pretty shocking really."

– Anthony Hewitt, Pianist
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He has devised his whole performance using just his left hand, playing pieces commissioned by an Austrian pianist - Paul Wittgenstein - who lost his right arm in the First World War.

He was hit by shrapnel, I think, in the elbow, was taken - captured by the Russians - taken to hospital, he woke up without his arm -his right arm.

"He never recovered - as his brother said, you don't grow back a limb - but he did commission these many, many particularly piano concertos - 17 piano concertos.

"Amongst them is Ravell's piano concerto for the left hand, which I've always actually wanted to play."

– Anthony Hewitt

And so the show must go on.

It's welcome news for seventeen-year-old saxophonist Jess GiIlam, who's been performing at the Festival since she was thirteen.

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"It's been a great platform to perform to people in my hometown and to meet really inspiring musicians that come and perform here and to watch concerts that otherwise we wouldn't get to watch."

– Jess Gillam, Saxophonist from Ulverston