On Monday night (20 June), British resident, pianist and composer Stephen Blue is going to be treating music lovers to a free night of "music for the senses" in Plaça de l’Església in his home village of Mancor de la Vall.
Stephen is going to be playing a grand piano, which the local council has especially hired from Palma, and the square will be lit with some 300 candles, creating a unique, warm, romantic and sensual environment.
Stephen, who never uses sheet music, will be performing a selection of international music including songs and music by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Jacques Brel and George Gershwin, to name just a few, as well as some light classical pieces from Chopin and Debussy.
He will also be playing music from films such as the Godfather, Romeo and Juliet, Love Story and shows including Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Cats, not to mention a few numbers Stephen has composed himself over the years.
He began playing when he was just seven years old while attending King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of just ten, he won the regional heat of a national music concert and was invited to play at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He eventually became the pianist and organist in the school’s famous chapel, performing regularly at local events. He continued studying music until grade eight, but his music then had to be put on the back burner in order to study for his ‘A’ Levels; his aim was to become a doctor.
After completing his exams he moved into the family business. They ran two famous restaurants and in one of those he met Marlene Dietrich. Many years later he performed for her at a private concert in her dressing room at the Drury Lane Theatre. Eventually he moved up to London to study at the London School of Hair, Fashion and Beauty Culture and shortly became the style director for the House of Fraser and other leading companies including Vidal Sassoon.
It was while working for Sassoon that he played for Sarah Vaughan. She was in a show at the Palladium with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie and Sassoon provided the wigs for Miss Vaughan, who wanted Stephen to dress them personally for her. He was invited to her suite at The Grosvenor House where a cocktail party was in full swing. He stayed and ended up playing for the guests including Old Blue Eyes and the Count.
"It was amazing," he recalls with pride.
Music has always been his passion and he rediscovered it in London. During his stay in the capital and the West End he played at a host of top celebrity parties for the likes of Sian Phillips, Peggy Lee, Randy Crawford and Diana Ross. He also performed at a number of famous hotels in London and the West Country including weddings, such as that of Dragons' Den presenter Debbie Meadon.
After years of coming to Majorca, Stephen and his partner moved to Moscari in 2002, where they had a house built, and married in Pollensa in 2011. They now live in Mancor de la Vall and Stephen wants to share his passion and years of experience with the local community. He knows that people are travelling from all over the island for Monday’s concert.
"Over the years I’ve played at a number of private parties on the islands and local fiestas. I would love to do more, even weddings. I just love music and want others to share my passion."