MfD: Homeless man becomes another pianist in Prague streets

YouTube video has attracted tens of thousands of visits since it was uploaded 10 days ago

Prague, Jan. 21 (ČTK) — A homeless man playing the piano in the streets of Prague within a project to revitalize the city has become “a star” on the Internet, where the video with him has been watched by tens of thousands of people, daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) writes in its Prague supplement today.

The project to place pianos in various public areas for free, inspired by a similar activity abroad, was initiated by Prague café owner Ondřej Kobza in the summer of 2013. Since then, many local inhabitants as well as tourists have used this opportunity.

Most recently, a video recording with a homeless man playing Bedřich Smetana’s symphonic poem “Vltava” (Moldau) in the capital’s center appeared on the Web, MfD says.

Although the man was apparently drunk, his excellent performance has drawn the attention of a large audience on the Internet, the paper adds.

It was music conservatory student Jiří Trtík who promoted the “homeless pianist” as he released the video with him on You Tube 10 days ago. He called it “This Is Prague Baby! no. 2” in reaction to a previous popular video on YouTube with the same title, featuring a Czech police officer playing the piano in the center of Prague, MfD writes.

It adds that the spot with the homeless pianist has been watched by some 67,000 visitors in 10 days.

“The saddest thing is that the man knows much more about Czech music and culture than most Czechs,” Trtík wrote in a comment on his video.

He met the homeless man sitting at the piano in the Old Town near the seat of the Czech Philharmonic several times. Once he asked him whether he can play it. The man started playing excellently, even though he was not quite sober, Trtík told the server.

“I gave him 20 Kč and recorded him on a video camera,” Trtík said, adding that the man’s talent enchanted him.

MfD writes that public pianos are still available at various places in Prague — at the main and Masaryk railway stations, at náměstí Míru, in Letná Park, at the Faculty of Arts in the Old Town and on the embankment under Palacký bridge.

The latest piano was placed at the Václav Havel Airport Prague on Jan. 16, MfD recalls.

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