Two Irishmen who’d never rehearsed together and never met before teamed up at a train station to play the most dazzling piano duet you’re ever likely to hear.
It’s a rare gift to be able to play any tune by ear no matter how complicated, but it’s a talent these two have in spades.
Patrick Hynes, who’s 81 and from Galway, was playing the old Irish song When You and I Were Young, Maggie, on the platform of St Pancras Station in London when Brendan Kavanagh decided to join in on the same piano.
This led to a six-minute duet of spontaneous music including classical tunes, ragtime with The Entertainer, Irish dance tunes and a blues version of Danny Boy.
The duet finishes with Way Down in the County Kerry in honour to Brendan’s home county.
This is the video of the duet.
Brendan, who teaches piano, later wrote on his YouTube channel: “Great spontaneous duet with an Irish senior citizen from Galway, but he rushed off at the end before I had a chance to ask his name and have a chat.
Thankfully, Brendan later tracked him down and wrote: “We now know the senior citizen is the amazing 81-year-old Patrick Hynes who emigrated to London from Ireland in 1958.”
Patrick later visited YouTube himself, and posted the following message: “Hello everybody. Somebody asked if I knew Mr Kavanagh but never heard of him nor u tube until now. Also never had a music lesson just self taught but I practise a lot and prefer classical piano which I try to play. I come from a town called Porrumna in Ireland but came to London in 1958 and love it here. Have a nice day.”
The music they play Is: 0:01 When You and I Were Young Maggie, 1:04 Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca (Turkish March), 1:47 Scott Joplin The Entertainer, 2:59 Irish Washerwoman Jig, 4:21 Moonlight Sonata, 4:40 Danny Boy, 5:55 Way Down in County Kerry (Golden Jubilee)
Brendan delighted to be joined by little dancing superstar
Brendan is a regular visitor to piano spots in London’s stations because he knows he always gets some great material for his videos.
But even he was surprised when he sat down to play on the public piano and a little girl joined him to dance to the music.
On this occasion, he was happy to play the role of supporting artist as the real star of the show appeared.
He was playing a medley of songs from the much-loved film Mary Poppins when the little girl dressed in her yellow school uniform walked up beside him.
She put down her satchel and began dancing beautifully to the music.
The delight was clearly visible on Brendan’s face as he realised he had discovered a little star.
He continued to play and the young dancer continued to move with confidence and energy.
She was clearly having a great time and even struck a star pose as Brendan brought the medley to a crescendo.
Brendan spoke to his new co-star and she told him that her name is Zoe, and she was on a school trip to London.
Her teachers and classmates were not far away and had allowed her to take a moment to dance to the music.
She also revealed that she knew what songs he was playing, and had seen the film Mary Poppins.
Brendan thanked her for her performance and told her to get back to her teachers before they began to worry.
He also went to speak to them himself, because he needed the permission of Zoe’s parents to post the video online.
Thankfully, they were happy for him to do so, and the video is providing a pick-me-up for music and dance fans all around the world.
It was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in the first couple of days of being posted, and the comments are full of praise for little Zoe for her fearless performance.
Don’t we all wish we could dance with this sort of vigour and joy?
Take a look at the video and enjoy the show.
The piano man and the Irish songstress…musical magic
On this occasion, it is Kavanagh at the piano, and he has taken the supporting role as singer Kezia Gill showcases her own musical talents.
Gill is a Nottingham singer of Irish descent who performs several genres including Irish folk, blues, country and rock.
In this video, the multi-talented musician stands beside the piano with her guitar and tin whistle as Kavanagh plays.
Gill starts playing a melody with her tin whistle before starting to play guitar and when she starts to sing, she has the voice of an angel.
The duo perform the classic Scottish/Irish song Will Ye Go Lassie Go followed by I Can’t Stop Loving You which was written by country star Don Gibson and made famous by Ray Charles.
It was much to the delight of commuters at the London station and they built up quite a crowd as their performance went on, with plenty of people clearly thinking that work could wait a few minutes.
Take a look at the video below.
Enter a singing goddess…cue songs from the Sound of Music
Brendan often surprises other musicians by joining in with as they play public pianos at railway stations in London.
However, one performance saw him set aside his virtuoso skills as he took a back seat by simply providing accompaniment to a 16-year-old who joined him for a few moments to sing songs from the hit Broadway show, the Sound of Music.
The girl was passing by with a friend when she stopped to listen to Brendan. Well, he never passes up a chance like that so within seconds he had her singing along for a bit of fun but was then delighted to find she had an amazing voice.
Not only that but her ability to improvise as she sang seemed to be more than a match for Brendan as she covered songs like Edelweiss and Feed the Birds while reading the lyrics from her phone.
After the performance, Brendan has a chat with her and discovers that her name is Alicia and she’s a student enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music who just happened to be passing by on her way to the tube. Brendan told her: “What a tremendous voice for a 16-year-old. I’ve never heard such a tremendous voice.”
More than half a million viewers also love the performance and left comments like these:
Love how confident she looks and she is definitely enjoying herself too – she’ll go places
She is so casual about the whole thing, it looks like she is just checking her e-mails. Amazing!
She’s so young, but an old soul emerges when she sings. Not only is her talent amazing, but her casualness in performing spontaneously in front of a crowd. Star material!
Her singing voice sounds quite mature for being only 16! Well done!
not only a talented singer but drop dead gorgeous, too. broadway is waiting for her.
How ridiculous – I cry with pleasure when I watch/listen to this vid.
But why not judge for yourself.
The two best piano players on YouTube have joined forces, and yes, it is brilliant
It was always going to happen sooner or later… the two greatest piano players on YouTube have collided and created a video so foot-tappingly brilliant, you may need to have your internet privileges removed or you will never get anything done again.
Brendan is an internet sensation thanks to his inspiring videos where he interacts with the public and wows them on the pianos of the London train stations.
As well as being an incredibly talented player, he’s also a genuinely warm personality who is always trying to tease out and encourage the talents of those he meets.
Well, talent is the one thing that his new best buddy is not short of. Thomas Krüger, aka Mr Piano, is another hugely accomplished YouTube star.
Brendan is known as Mr Boogie for his love of playing Boogie Woogie, whereas Mr Piano is more inclined to re-imagine popular dance anthems on the piano.
Despite their varying styles on the ivories, the collaboration is simply stunning.
The two met up in London to play one of the station pianos, and the results are just as fantastic as you could expect.
They combined to play a medley of the classical favourite Greensleeves, and then Take On Me the famous pop song by Norwegian band A-ha.
Get your feet somewhere comfortable, cos they are about to develop and rhythm and mind of their own.
Piano king meets young star and the two enjoy a jam session
Brendan met a potential heir to his throne when he jammed with a schoolboy on the public piano at London’s St Pancras Station.
The pair put on a fantastic performance with Brendan encouraging and guiding his young accomplice.
The crowd that had gathered gave the pair a rousing round of applause when they had finished, and Brendan had a brief chat with his co-star.
The young man is named Nicholas and incredibly he revealed that he had taught himself to play the piano.
He told Brendan that he does study music at school, but that his teacher had not taught him any Boogie Woogie and he had picked up the technique himself through practice.
Take a look at the master and the apprentice in action.
Maestro Brendan meets his match in fabulous piano duel
Another of Brendan’s popular videos shows him getting into a playful piano battle with a pensioner.
The performance is great fun as each man sits at the piano and plays for a short while before standing up and letting their rival see if they can impress the crowd more.
Exactly like a dance-off, but with a piano instead of a dancefloor.
Ever the gentleman, Brendan starts the round of applause for his musical opponent and declares him the winner.
He has a chat with the newcomer, and they agree that they couldn’t perform a duet because they play different styles.
However, the pensioner revealed that his name is Rick Schmull and it is not the first time he has played the piano for a large audience.
He auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2016 and played in front of Simon Cowell. Unfortunately, he wasn’t successful, partly because he dedicated his performance to his cat.
You can take a look at both videos below.
Piano-playing Irish pensioner is becoming a YouTube star
Remember the Irish pensioner who guest starred in the first video we showed at the start of this article?
Patrick Hynes was playing a public piano at St Pancras Station when Brendan arrived and joined him to create a wonderful jam session.
Brendan is an established YouTube star, with his channel attracting millions of piano fans and enthusiasts.
But Kerry born Patrick had never even heard of YouTube until he met Brendan.
Now he has now set up a YouTube channel of his own, following the success of the London underground video.
He has recorded and uploaded several videos, with him sat at home playing various pieces of music across a range of genres.
Take a look.
Brendan Kavanagh, also known as ‘Mr Boogie Woogie’, is a hugely gifted pianist and has become a YouTube star with his constant stream of brilliant videos.
You can see more of his videos on his YouTube channel.