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Mystery Pianist Found on English Beach
Silent 'Piano Man' poses beach riddle
Mon May 16,10:38 AM ET
A smartly dressed man found wandering in a soaking wet suit near an English beach has baffled police and care workers after he refused to say a word and then gave a virtuoso piano performance.
The man, wearing a formal black suit and tie, was spotted by police in Kent on April 8 and taken to a psychiatric unit where it proved impossible to identify him because he stayed silent.
It was only after he was given a pen and paper that care-givers were given an intriguing clue to his possible background when he drew an intricate picture of a grand piano.
He was taken to the hospital's chapel where he played classical music on the piano for hours.
However, despite his picture being posted on the National Missing Persons Helpline's (NMPH) Web site, no one has come forward to identify him.
"Very little is known about him as he has not been speaking with staff at the hospital where he is being cared for, but he has a talent for playing classical piano," an NMPH spokesman said in a statement. Newspapers said members of the public had contacted authorities to say they may have seen the man giving concert performances around Europe.
The Daily Telegraph said the man, in his 20s or 30s, is believed to be English and may have suffered a mental breakdown.
His story echoes the 1996 Oscar-winning film "Shine," in which actor Geoffrey Rush played Australian pianist David Helfgott, who overcame a nervous breakdown to return to performing.