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Armless piano player wins hearts in China

Posted August 20, 2010 07:43:00

A 23-year-old man who lost his arms in a childhood accident may become China's answer to Susan Boyle after wowing judges and the audience on a TV talent show by playing piano with his toes.

Liu Wei's performance on China's Got Talent earned him a spot as one of the competition's 40 finalists, while his appearance has already been seen more than 200,000 times on YouTube and Chinese video sites.

The Beijing native lost his arms at age 10 after touching a high-voltage wire during a game of hide-and-seek.

"I don't know why people always believe my life is so painful because I don't have arms," Liu told the Shanghai Daily.

"I am a happy man living a colourful life, just like other young people."

He started playing the piano at 19 to pursue his childhood dream of being a musician.

His first teacher quit because he thought it was impossible for someone to play with their toes.

But Liu, who was studying music theory, persisted and taught himself in secret how to play.

When he performed for his parents and friends for the first time, he told them he had picked up the "toeing" skill accidentally.

Liu says the melodies he can play are limited due to the length of his toes and there are some pieces he loves but cannot play because he is not able to reach across octaves.

But that did not stop him from bringing the studio audience to their feet and leaving one of the talent show's judges teary-eyed when he played Richard Clayderman's famous piece Mariage D'Amour on August 8.

- AFP

Tags: arts-and-entertainment, music, television, china

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