An Italian musician gave the world’s highest piano concert at the top of a mountain

An Italian pianist and mountaineer performed the 'world's highest piano concert in the Alps at an altitude of 4,460 metres.

An Italian musician gave the world's highest piano concert at the top of a mountain
Photo: Top1 Communication

Musician Elisa Tomellini climbed the Monte Rosa mountain massif on foot, while her grand piano was flown in by helicopter.

The Genoa native has travelled around the world to pursue her love of climbing, whilst also winning national awards for her piano-playing, so the stunt allowed her to combine her two passions after a sabbatical period of travel.

She told The Local she decided to do the concert “in order to close the circle of my two lives, that of a pianist and the life in which I temporarily abandoned music to discover the beauty of the world”.

“I also wanted to bring music and the mountain into people's hearts, and to help people in doing so,” said Tomellini, who plans to donate proceeds raised by the concert to a Nepalese children's home.

Despite her experience in mountaineering, the musician said that performing on the mountainside made her feel “small in comparison to nature”.

“Every so often it's important to realize the proportion of things. I was cold and scared of not being able to finish; I'm still very emotional and happy to have arrived on my own feet and to have played with my hands,” she added.

Temperatures on the mountain were -15C while Tomellini played, and it was a windy day, but she played the full concert, wearing thick gloves.

READ ALSO: 15 weird world records held by Italy and Italians


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Italian Eurovision winner tests negative for drugs

Damiano David, the frontman of Italy's Eurovision winners Maneskin, has passed a drug test he took on Monday to clear his name after speculation that he had snorted cocaine at the song contest's grand final.

Italian Eurovision winner tests negative for drugs
Damiano David of Maneskin performs at the Eurovision final. Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

A drug test was “voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Måneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU”, the European Broadcasting Union announced on Monday evening. 

“No drug use took place in the Green Room and we consider the matter closed,” the EBU said in a statement, adding that it had checked all available video footage as part of “a thorough review of the facts”.

READ ALSO: Italian Eurovision winners ‘really offended’ by accusations of drug use

David, who was shown on camera leaning over a table backstage in what some speculated could be drug use, had strongly denied the allegations. 

He said the footage showed him sweeping up some glass broken by one of his bandmates.

Måneskin with their trophy after winning the final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Sander Koning / ANP / AFP

There had been calls for “total transparency” from officials in France, which came a close second in the song contest, after the clip went viral following Saturday’s final in the Netherlands.

The French minister for Europe said that drug use should be grounds for disqualification, though the head of France’s public broadcasting group said they did not plan to challenge the result.

David told interviewers he was “really offended” by the speculation, which he said had marred Italy’s first Eurovision victory in 31 years.

“We are alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band,” the EBU said, adding that it was looking forward to “a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest in Italy next year”.