Stephen Sondheim Surprises 80-Year-Old Composer Living With Dementia After Improvised Piece Goes Viral

Video   Stephen Sondheim Surprises 80-Year-Old Composer Living With Dementia After Improvised Piece Goes Viral
 
The piece of music, written by retired music teacher Paul Harvey, was recorded by BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and released as a single.

Paul Harvey, an 80-year-old former music teacher and composer living with dementia, has captured the heart of England after a video of Harvey improvising a sweeping, romantic piece of music at the piano posted by son Nick went viral. Following a radio broadcast of the tune—titled "Four Notes"—on BBC Radio 4, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's Daniel Whibley gave it a full orchestral arrangement, which was ultimately recorded by the full orchestra remotely.

The BBC ultimately surprised Harvey with the recording and a special message from his favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim, in which the theatre luminary thanks Harvey for the "wonderful" tune he invented "which I can't wait to steal." See Harvey hear the orchestral version of his tune for the first time and Sondheim's surprise message above.

The full single of "Four Notes - Paul's Tune" is now available on major streaming services, with all proceeds benefiting Alzheimer's Society and Music for Dementia.

Click Here to Shop for Theatre
Merchandise in the Playbill Store
 
Latest Videos