The Pianist was Presented by Company B and Sydney Festival and is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman.

In September 1939, concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman was midway through a performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in D Flat Major for Polish Radio when the Nazis pulled the power. Six years later, after an infernal odyssey of survival during which he saved his sanity by playing silently on a tabletop every day, Szpilman returned to Polish Radio and completed his recital. The Pianist is his memoir of those six years.

Half a century down the track another great concert pianist, the internationally acclaimed Mikhail Rudy, read Szpilman’s memoir and dreamt up a sublime retelling of the story. Part concert, part play, The Pianist is a duet for two Szpilmans: Rudy on piano and a solo actor recounting the story.

Rudy had been performing the work around the world. Then he came to Belvoir St for a special production with Company B.


Mikhail Rudy
Sean Taylor


Original Concept and script by Mikhail Rudy
Translated by Anthea Bell
Director Rachel McDonald
Text Edited by Mikhail Rudy and Neil Bartlett
Music by Frédéric Chopin and Wladyslaw Szpilman
Design Consultant Jo Briscoe
Lighting Designer Stephen Hawker
Stage Manager David Koumans


When Rudy plays Chopin, it is as if a window has been opened, revealing a beautiful world  beyond the destruction.

The Independent on Sunday

It’s more than charming. It’s a generous way of being in the world. A truth. A full presence.

Le Figaro