The Piano Channel 4: Edinburgh pianist Sean Logan reaches the final of talent show
Autistic Edinburgh musician reaches final of The Piano with Claudia Winkleman and Mika
A talented Edinburgh musician has reached the final of a Channel 4 talent show to find the UK’s best pianists. Sean Logan, who has autism, previously appeared in a BAFTA-winning short film, Harmonic Spectrum. He is now starring in the finale of The Piano, which aims to find four of the UK’s top amateur pianists. It is hosted by Claudia Winkleman and judged by global popstar Mika and world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.
Sean said: “It’s been a fantastic experience being on the show, I’ve really enjoyed it and it was great to get to perform as a finalist alongside such talented musicians at the Royal Festival Hall. Music brings people together in a positive way and, for me, as an autistic person, it is a great way to connect with others.
"I think it’s really important that autistic people are seen on TV and portrayed in an honest way, as it inspires other autistic people to be themselves and to not hide away or think that they aren’t valued. This show, like Harmonic Spectrum, does just that. In my experience, the help is out there if you’re autistic and you need it, but it can often be difficult to find. I think that getting that help and support is vital, because when autistic people are supported and encouraged, they can achieve great things.”
The show sees Amateur piano players share their experiences and perform on public pianos in train stations the UK, while their playing is judged in secret by Mika and Lang Lang. The chosen finalists perform in a grand concert finale at the Royal Festival Hall in London, which will be aired on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday, March 15.
Sean, who is self-taught and started playing at six-years-old, performed on the piano at Glasgow Central Station, where he thought he was just going to play some of the work he’d composed on a “normal day”. He said: “It was a shock to find out Lang Lang and Mika had been watching my performance, but a good shock.
“Claudia was so lovely when I met her I felt like I knew her already! My whole life has revolved around being a good performer, and when I perform I watch the audience out of the corner of my eye. I process the feedback to see what they are feeling, and I will change a piece on the spot to ensure the audience is captivated. It is a good feeling when people appreciate my music as then I know I am doing something right.”
Sean also performed his own Edinburgh Fringe show last year focused on his experiences as an autistic musician and will be appearing at the festival again this year.
Rob Holland, director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, said: "We’re delighted to see Sean reach the final of The Piano, and he has the platform to showcase his exceptional talent. It’s also a step forward for positive autistic representation on TV, as it challenges the stereotypical view as to what autistic people can achieve. It also draws attention to the benefits of creative musical interaction, which we know helps many autistic people to enhance their confidence and self-expression. We hope his achievement will inspire more autistic people like Sean to express themselves creatively and have the opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities.”