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Musical Interlude: Pianist Wows Passengers At Prague Airport

The piano wasn't fancy, and the acoustics were bad. But a performance of Beethoven's "Für Elise" at a Prague airport is drawing rave reviews. The impromptu concert was put on by a traveler who brightened the mood in a departure lounge and earned applause by taking on the classic in a variety of styles.

A video of the music has been seen about 3.3 million times since it hit YouTube on Thursday.

The man at the keyboard was Maan Hamadeh, a musician from Lebanon who tells The Daily Star that he had just spent nearly two weeks in Europe without playing.

"While we were looking for the gate to board our next flight, my friend stopped me and he pointed toward a piano," he says, "and so like a baby who has found his mother after getting lost, I ran to it."

Hamadeh, who played while his suitcase sat on the ground next to him, calls his versions of "Für Elise," and of the theme from Titanic, "remixes."

"I have previously tried the Arabic remix once for 'Für Elise' at home," he tells the Star, "but the other remixes I played were [thought up] on the spot."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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