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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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White House date for pianist Sam

AN ACCOMPLISHED pianist who grew up in St Bees has performed for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the future president of China.

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DISTINGUISHED AUDIENCE: Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood perform as Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a dinner for Vice President Xi of China, at the Naval Observatory Residence. Also in attendance are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Valerie Jarrett, and Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

Sam Haywood and duo partner Joshua Bell performed in Washington last week for the future president of China, Vice President Xi Jinping, along with his American counterpart Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sam, who has performed all over the world, said: “It was a real thrill to see The White House. I especially enjoyed meeting Hillary Clinton, who told me that Bill had proposed to her in Ennerdale!”

Sam has been touring the USA with violinist Joshua Bell for the past months, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center and LA’s Disney Hall, receiving rave reviews from the US media.

His use of an iPad page-turning system (with a Bluetooth footpedal) also created quite a stir in the press. “I was nervous about using it at first, especially at Carnegie Hall,” Sam admits, “but for chamber music concerts it makes life so much easier.

“I’ve had some wonderful page-turners over the years, but ever so often they can be nervous and unpredictable. I even once had a lady who suddenly disappeared when her chair got too close to the edge of the platform! She was unhurt, thankfully. The iPad takes all of these risks out of the equation.”

Sam’s next concert tour will take him to China and later on in the year he will be returning to USA, Japan and several European countries.

His concerts in UK will include performances on Chopin’s own piano, two appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall and a recital in the Carlisle International Festival on July 12.

“I feel very privileged to be able to travel to so many exciting places,” he said.

“The wonderful thing about music is its ability, irrespective of age, social status or culture, to establish connections with and between people. It is a very powerful tool.”

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