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Famous pianist plans China tour next year

THE world's fastest pianist was at the Hungary Pavilion yesterday signing autographs and talking about his plans for a concert tour in China next year.

Hungarian Balazs Havasi said yesterday that he was going to hold the 2011 Symphonic Red Concert Tour in China because he was touched by the enthusiasm of the Chinese audience.

Havasi performed Symphonic Red, which he composed and includes traditional Chinese instruments such as the bawu flute and dagu drums, at the Culture Center last Wednesday. The piece was dedicated to Expo.

Hundreds of people yesterday rushed to the pavilion at 5:30pm, holding their Expo passports to get his autograph. Havasi said he decided to hold the concert tour because of a dream he had during his childhood.

"My mother stayed in Beijing for five years before I was born, so I learned to use chopsticks before I was able to use a fork," Havasi said.Since then, he said he has believed China was one of the world's most important countries.

The 35 year old said he started playing the piano at age four. He spent 8 to 10 hours every day practicing when he was in music school.

He said a Guiness World Records adjudicator used a high-definition camera to record his record-setting performance last November because he was too fast for the naked eye. Havasi hit the same piano key 498 times in 60 seconds, easily surpassing the old record of 200 times.

"I used to practice martial arts, which made my finders stronger and more flexible, so I was able to break the record," Havasi said.


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