The Pianist Who Performed John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ Outside Paris’s Bataclan Concert Hall Has Been Identified [Updated]


Updated: The man whose performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a grand piano in Paris went viral on Saturday has been identified, The Guardian reports. Davide Martello, the 34-year-old pianist, was in a pub in Konstanz, Germany, when he heard about the attacks, and then decided to put his piano on a trailer and drive through the night to get to the city. “I just knew I had to do something, ” he told The Guardian. “I wanted to be there to try and comfort, and offer a sign of hope.” 

The video of Martello’s performance outside the Bataclan concert hall in the wake of the attacks there Friday night surfaced yesterday. France has declared three days of national mourning following Friday’s attacks, and Martello’s tribute is one of many taking place throughout the city and the world as people struggle to come to terms with the violence.

Martello also performs under the name Klavierkunst and has built much of his reputation by performing in sites of crisis. He has traveled to the Taksim demonstrations in Istanbul, to the Maidan revolution in Kiev, and to Paris after the Charlie Hebdo shootings earlier this year. He has also received a civic award from the European Parliament for his “outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values.”