Piano wizard Manuel Villet struck a chord with the greats
VETERAN pianist Manuel Villet has hit the high notes with classical music stars in a brilliant career spanning five decades. The 78-year-old has played with world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin, learned from one of France s classical music greats, Nadia
VETERAN pianist Manuel Villet has hit the high notes with classical music stars in a brilliant career spanning five decades.
The 78-year-old has played with world-famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin, learned from one of France's classical music greats, Nadia Boulanger, pushed his technique in Cape Town with concert pianist Lili Kraus and performed with the London Philharmonic and the BBC.
Villet, of St Marys, Barking, first laid his fingers on a keyboard aged six and in secondary school could play pieces by Brahms and Mozart.
He graduated from Cape Town University with a bachelor of music degree in 1951 before studying for two more years in Paris with Boulanger, who tutored some of the greatest 20th composers, including US pianist Aaron Copland.
Villet performed as a soloist with top orchestras in Britain, France and South Africa, playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 4 with the London Philharmonic conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.
He was then given the task of using his skills to accompany Menuhin, widely seen as one of the 20th century's top violinists, at home in South Africa.
- 1 Dagenham cafe fined almost £2k following waste disposal dispute
- 2 Car park killing: John Avers the 'best friend' of hitman, court hears
- 3 Barking resident charged over death of baby boy
- 4 Five appear in court charged with drugs offences after dawn raids
- 5 Car park killing: Witness describes moment John Avers was run over
- 6 Car park killing: 'Distressing' CCTV shows victim being run over four times
- 7 Patients with Covid in east London hospitals fall after rising for weeks
- 8 More headliners announced for We Are FSTVL 2022
- 9 'Something is going on': Second dead rabbit found in a week
- 10 Man hospitalised after being found in Mayesbrook Park
He said: "It was a great time, it was in 1956. I got the job, whatever you would call it, of coming with him on a South African tour.
"It was a great honour. He invited me after that to accompany him in 1957 in Vienna. I will never forget.
"At the time I was a young man, I was learning a lot from him. He was such a great musician.
"Looking back, it was very interesting. I went to various places, played with quite a few orchestras - in England with the BBC Northern Orchestra and lately with the University of East London."
Villet performed Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at St Margaret's church, Barking, on August 8 and is booked to play at a Redbridge Music Society event at Redbridge Town Hall in the High Road on February 16.