Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/Thierry Schrotz
This is the man who has just broken the world record for the longest solo concert after spending 31 hours playing the piano to raise cash for the Telethon charity.
Thierry Schrotz is a piano teacher in France and he has reportedly just broken the world record for the longest ever solo concert, to raise money for the Telethon charity event. He livestreamed the event on Facebook from Le Cres, a commune in the Herault department in southern France, and was watched by thousands of netizens.
Shrotz told Central European News (CEN) he played 735 pieces of music in a 31-hour marathon – from Friday evening to Sunday morning – that saw him smash the previous world record for the longest ever solo concert, which had previously been set at 27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds in 2009, by the Canadian Chilly Gonzales.
Gonzales was reportedly allowed a 5-minute break every hour and a 15-minute break every 3 hours, but the new record breaker Shrotz told CEN he only took “15-minute breaks every 9 hours and 5 minutes every 5 hours to go to the toilet.”
He added that his “assistant stopped the timer every time there was a break.”
Shrotz, 52, modestly told CEN: “I don’t find that what I have done is all that extraordinary. I am pleased to have done this for my entourage and for the joy it creates around me.”
He added: “I know the Telethon well, and I know its spirit, its solidarity, and those who help the ill people in wheelchairs. The money goes to research and they have a proven track record.”
When asked how he managed to endure such a marathon, Shrotz, who trained for six months for the attempt and who recently gave a 14-hour concert on 24th November, told CEN: “I ate and I drank coffee and water while playing with one hand.”
Speaking about the event itself, Shrotz said: “My record was filmed by 3 cameras and was recorded on a computer. A microphone recorded the sound, I went live on Facebook, and I asked to have at least 4 witnesses at all times.”
He added: “I was followed by Lucien Pocheville, a Midi Libre correspondent.”
Shrotz is a piano teacher. He started playing when he was 7 years old. From 12 to 22, he was at the Strasbourg music college. He told CEN that for a long time, he was the local organ player in his village of Maisongoutte in Alsace, where he was born. In 2007, he started his own piano school, which is still operating today.
Shrotz says he has contacted Guinness World Records twice so far and is waiting to hear back from them. He told CEN that he fully intends to do it again next year and is aiming “to go further, like to do 35 hours”.
The 2019 edition of the Telethon has raised 74.6 million EUR (62.7 million GBP), which is 5.3 million EUR (4.45 million GBP) more than in 2018.
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