Drummer recognises mysterious piano man

The mysteriously mute piano virtuoso found wandering on an English beach last month was a Czech classical musician who once played in a rock band, the band's drummer was quoted as saying.

Klaudius Kryspin said he immediately recognised the man as Thomas Strnad, even though it has been many years since they played together in a tribute band called Ropotamo.

"When I saw the picture in the newspapers, I knew it was Thomas," Kryspin told the Mail on Sunday newspaper in Prague.

Officials caring for the so-called "piano man" at Little Brook Hospital at Dartford in south-eastern England said they had informed the police missing persons bureau about the claim.

The tall blonde man, thought to be in his 20s or early 30s, was found on April 7 on the beach at Minster, on the south coast of England, soaking wet but fully dressed in a black suit, with no clue as to his origin.

He has not spoken since and has not responded to written appeals while being kept under observation.

However, he has fascinated social workers, the British media and the general public with his one means of communication: playing classical piano music.

When given pencil and paper by hospital staff, the mystery man drew a grand piano. Then, when shown a piano at the hospital chapel, he impressed his carers with a remarkable virtuoso performance.

Kryspin, who has not seen Strnad in nine years, said his old band mate had trained as a classical musician, and that his "first love was always Chopin, Mozart and Liszt".

He added that Strnad did not appear to get along with his family and that three years ago he was going around asking for money to buy bread.

Kryspin said he immediately recognised Strnad from a photo he saw on the Internet and that "he still looks like the same guy I knew back then".

"The only things that are different are his hair colour and his sad face. He looks like a broken man," he said.

Agencias: AFP
Medio: ABC News Online
Fecha: Domingo 29 de mayo de 2005
Notas: © 2005 ABC
ID: 1586 Editar

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