Musician sets world record for highest ever classical musical concert after playing grand piano on Himalayan mountains

Evelina De Lain performed Chopin's nocturnes up a 5,000m mountain pass and donated piano to local school 

Sunday 06 January 2019 19:51 GMT
Musician sets world record for highest ever classical concert after she took grand piano up Himalayan pass

A musician set the world record for the highest ever classical music concert after she played a grand piano up a 5,000m Himalayan mountain pass.

Evelina De Lain, 41, performed Chopin’s Nocturnes No 2 in E flat major and No 20 in C sharp minor during the 90 minute performance.

She also played his “Raindrop” Prelude Op 28 No 15, as well as compositions from her solo album Soul Journey.

The pianist was joined by a team who helped to drive and carry the Challen piano to the Singela Pass in the Himalayas, India.

Concert in the Clouds raised money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and the piano was donated to a local school.

Ms De Lain lost the ability to move her hands properly 14 years ago due to a repetitive strain injury.

After undertaking an intensive course of therapy, she eventually regained most of the use of her hands.

The London-based performer said: “I would never in a million years ever think I’d play classical piano again let alone play the highest classical concert.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, and it was such an honour to be asked to play my music in the clouds.

“It was incredibly cold but actually the cold was not as problematic as the wind.

“It felt like it was penetrating my bones. It was extreme.”

Originally from Ukraine, Ms De Lain was taught how to play and enjoy classical music by her mother.

When her mother died in 2017, Ms De Lain bought a piano from Desmond Gentle, who owned a shop for refurbished pianos in Camden.

“I wanted a piano chair but then saw this beautiful grand piano,” she said.

“It was beige and quite unusual, so I started to play and Desmond fell in love with my style.

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“I knew that something like this would get me out of my grief, give me something to focus on.”

Mr Gentle convinced Ms De Lain to attempt the record-breaking concert.

“I definitely had to pool my resources to keep going. Desmond had warned me I may not last long with the altitude,” she said.

“At the time the altitude wasn’t bothering me much but the next day I fainted in the airport.”


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