One of the most extraordinary pianists and musical entertainers of his generation recently took to the stage in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day.
Dubbed ‘The Human iPod’ in the States, Derek Paravicini has a repertoire of tens of thousands of pieces – all learnt very rapidly, just by listening.
Yet he is blind, autistic and has severe learning difficulties.
The Derek Paravicini Quartet concert was organised by the Jigsaw Trust and Cranleigh Arts Centre to raise awareness of autism.
The Trust, based on Dunsfold Park, near Cranleigh, educates and supports children and adults with autism through their school and adult services provisions on Dunsfold Park.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them.
Early intervention, education and support are fundamental in enabling children and young people with autism to lead fulfilling lives.
Jigsaw’s aim is to provide opportunities for each pupil and client to reach their full potential.
Jigsaw’s previous initiatives for raising awareness include floodlighting Guildford Cathedral blue, exhibiting pupils’ artwork and hosting information sessions.
Kate Grant, CEO of The Jigsaw Trust, said, “What a fantastic evening! I have no doubt that this concert will help highlight the work that organisations such as Jigsaw do around the globe and help people understand a little bit more about autism and what a diagnosis really means for the individual and their families. I would like to thank the Derek Paravicini Quartet and Cranleigh Arts Centre for their support.”.
Derek’s manager, Johnny Stirling, said: “Derek has visited Jigsaw several times to perform and engage with the pupils in the past and so we are really pleased to continue the relationship by showcasing Derek and The Derek Paravicini Quartet at Cranleigh Arts Centre and help raise awareness of autism.“.
Stephen Dennison, Chairman of the Trustees of Cranleigh Arts Centre, said “We have been delighted to host this prestigious musical event with a group of outstanding performers.
“Jigsaw Trust and Cranleigh Arts Centre are both committed and active members of the community of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages.
“Music makes a great contribution to improving well being and the opportunity to enjoy live music at its best in an intimate setting was not to be missed”
The Derek Paravicini Quartet’s debut album, a collection of entirely new interpretations of standards, is available now from Amazon and iTunes.
For press enquiries or more information about Jigsaw, please contact:
Steven Morgan on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jigsawschool.co.uk
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Report and picture contributed by Jigsaw CABAS® School.