Paris attacks: ‘Imagine’ pianist identified as Davide Martello

The German (34), ‘Klavierkunst’, known for visiting conflict zones to play piano

Davide Martello playing in Paris on Saturday. “Everything started in a Irish pub in Konstanz while I was watching the soccer match. After I saw that insane violence I just followed my heart and went to Paris with my piano.” Photograph: Twitter

Davide Martello playing in Paris on Saturday. “Everything started in a Irish pub in Konstanz while I was watching the soccer match. After I saw that insane violence I just followed my heart and went to Paris with my piano.” Photograph: Twitter

 

The man who played John Lennon’s Imagine on a grand piano outside the Bataclan theatre in tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks has been identified as German pianist Davide Martello.

Residents and visitors have been leaving flowers and candles outside the venue, location of one of a series of deadly attacks in the French capital on Friday evening, killing at least 129 people.

Martello, from Konstanz, arrived at the cordoned-off area in the 11th arrondissement on Saturday and played Lennon’s song on a piano attached to his bicycle for a small crowd that had gathered at the scene.

The 34-year-old, who also performs under the name Klavierkunst, is known for travelling around conflict zones to play the piano and previously performed at the sites of the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year.

Pianist performs John Lennon's Imagine outside Bataclan hall

Playing in Paris

Martello also appeared in the Taksim demonstrations in Istanbul, the Maidan revolution in Kiev and the civil war in Donetsk, according to reports.

The pianist said he he was inspired to to travel to Paris after he watched the violence unfolding on television.

In a message posted online following his return home, he said: “I just got back home in Germany safe and tired from a 24h drive. Everything started in a Irish pub in Konstanz while I was watching the soccer match between France and Germany. After I saw that insane violence I just followed my heart and went to Paris with my piano. That was one of my most touching moments in my life and I need to rest and reflect about what happened in this short time.”

Martello has previously been recognised by the European parliament for his “outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values”.

According to his website, his goal is to “play in every capital of the world with his grand piano”.

Guardian service