A PIANIST has launched a virtual 'piano soundbites' series in a bid to help fellow musicians during the coronavirus crisis.

Duncan Honeybourne, of Weymouth, has uploaded videos of him playing inspiring pieces of music to the website of the Weymouth concert series he founded.

He hopes the mini recitals will act as a substitute for concerts which have been cancelled as people have been urged to stay home.

Duncan is urging those who listen to the music and enjoy it to make a donation to the Help Musicians charity, which looks after musicians and their dependants.

The fundraiser has already made £530 and Duncan has now upped the target from £500 to £1,000.

He said: "The 2020 coronavirus pandemic is hitting musicians hard. Concert halls and promoters throughout the UK and worldwide have had to suspend operations indefinitely, and most freelance musicians are left with empty diaries for months ahead.

"Most musicians are self-employed and, without concerts, they receive no fees. Professional musicians the world over are faced with unprecedented loss of income and, in many cases, imminent and distressing hardship."

Despite the pandemic creating a 'cultural lockdown', concert pianist Duncan, who has toured extensively as soloist and chamber musician, is determined to keep playing on.

His Weymouth Chamber Concert series is normally held monthly on a Wednesday in St Mary's Church in Weymouth.

While staying at home in Weymouth, Duncan is recording daily mini recitals and posting them online. Before each musical extract he tells his virtual audience a little about the composer and piece of music he is playing.

He is urging anyone who enjoyed the music to consider making a donation to Help Musicians UK.

He said: "At the chamber concert series some of our own friends and colleagues are worrying about how to pay their rent in the coming months. Since its inception in 2002, our concert series has sought to support professional musicians and to nurture young artists. In the current crisis, the best way we can continue to support them is by inviting donations to Help Musicians UK."

*You can view the mini recitals at https://weymouthchamberconcerts.com/videos/ where there is a link to make donations to struggling musicians.


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