In a given year, the London Philharmonic Orchestra spends about a quarter of its time traveling. This past season, the ensemble performed in the U.S., South Korea, China, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and more. Other orchestras also go on domestic and international tours regularly. That made us wonder: How does a touring orchestra move all those instruments around?
Paul Barton plays piano for elephants. In 1996, when the artist and musician realized the life of a concert pianist wasn’t for him, Barton went on a soul-searching trip to Thailand, where he taught for a few months at the Thai Piano School. He decided to stay, and now teaches pianists around the world by providing free tutorials on his YouTube and Facebook pages.
When he’s not filming lessons, he rehabilitates elephants affected by deforestation at the ElephantsWorld sanctuary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. On his 50th birthday, he lugged his upright piano to an area in the sanctuary where elephants like to gather so he could play music for them. Since then, over the course of the last four years, Barton’s played an array of classical works for these majestic creatures.