Czech musicians say they recognize mysterious 'Piano Man'

LONDON - British health officials are investigating a possible breakthrough in the enigmatic case of the "Piano Man," the silent musician whose identity has remained a mystery since he was found wandering confused in the rain on an English isle in early April.

Several musicians from the Czech Republic said they believe that the forlorn figure, who has not spoken to the doctors caring for him but has played for hours at a piano, is Tomas Strnad, a keyboardist from Prague who yearned to become a star and had spoken of going abroad to seek his musical fortune.

According to acquaintances of Strnad's from the Czech Republic, there is a strong physical resemblance between him and the photographs of the Piano Man released by the Kent National Health Service, which has taken charge of the man's care since he was found on the Isle of Sheppey.

They say the unusual musical ability and emotional difficulties described in newspaper accounts of the man also correspond to their memory of Strnad, a classically trained musician known for long, solitary sojourns at the piano playing Rachmaninoff and other composers' works from memory.

The possible connection came to light more than a week ago, when an old friend of Strnad's now living in Ohio contacted the Los Angeles Times, as well as other newspapers, following an appeal by British medical authorities for information about the patient, whom they believe may be suffering from amnesia.

Richard Kryspin, 38, who emigrated to Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1980s, had seen the photographs of the Piano Man in the press and said he immediately thought of Strnad, with whom he had played music nearly two decades before.

Autor: John Daniszewski
Medio: Lexington Herald-Leader
Fecha: Martes 31 de mayo de 2005
ID: 1572 Editar

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