Building firm boss Richard Hinsley is used to handing over the keys of new home, but what the owners might not realise is that he’s also a dab hand with piano keys.
The 58-year-old from Beeston has just released his debut album, A Dance at Twilight, and his self-composed works are now being played on Whisperings, a US-based radio station dedicated to solo piano music, alongside the likes of Classic FM regulars such as Ludovico Einaudi.
To accompany the album, the father of two is planning a charity concert in December, playing a Steinway concert grand piano at the Nottingham Lakeside Arts in front of up to 200 people. It will be the first time he has appeared on stage alone.
“People are surprised when I tell them I play the piano and compose music,” said Richard. “It might sound an odd mix but I like it. I’m not sure I would want to be a full-time musician, because I enjoy building as much as I enjoy music.
“Building is a creative process and so is music. So for me, there’s not as much difference as you might think.”
Richard learned to play the piano as a child. He has played in pop and jazz bands and his music has featured on television.
He took over the family building firm, A. Hinsley Ltd, after the death of his father.
He has organised the concert to raise funds for the ME Association, a charity which funds research into Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME).
Also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, causes persistent fatigue which affects everyday life and doesn’t go away with sleep or rest.
“My sister has suffered from ME for more than 30 years. It’s been tough, very tough, for her and her family,” he said.
“I’m terrified of playing a solo concert. I’m used to performing on stage but not by myself. It’s completely out of my comfort zone. But I’m a big believer in not having regrets and if I don’t try, I’ll never know what it’s like – so this is a massive opportunity.”
Helen Hyland, fundraising manager for the ME Association, said: “Richard’s music is currently the soundtrack to my working day. As a classical music lover – and a lapsed piano player myself – I’ve been swept away by it.
“We’re so grateful that he’s organised this concert for the ME Association. ME is a much misunderstood illness, as Richard understands from his family’s experience, and money raised from this concert will help fund research, and give support, to those who suffer with it.”
Richard’s charity concert takes place on Saturday 12th December at the Djanogly Recital Hall, Nottingham Lakeside Arts.
Tickets are priced at £10 and available from firstname.lastname@example.org.