Pianist Who Performed More Than 200 Free Concerts During Covid Lockdowns Recognized With Queen's Birthday Honours List

June 9, 2022

Harriet Stubbs, a concert pianist from the UK, performed more than 200 free concerts in London during the Covid 19 lockdown.

She was recognized on the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2022.

Harriet Stubbs pianist free concerts Covid
Harriet Stubbs / @harriet.stubbs1

The Queen's Birthday Honours mark the extraordinary contributions and service of people across the UK. Every year, a list of honorees are published on the Queen’s official birthday in June.

Stubbs was recognized "for services to the community in West London during COVID-19."

She performed 250 daily free concerts in London's W8 during 2020 and 2021.

How It Started

When coronavirus began to spread, Stubbs returned to London from New York City, intending to stay a week -- which turned into a year and a half. She was planning to record an album that mixed David Bowie songs with classical pieces. While locked down in London, she practiced — and people would stop outside her window to listen.

"I thought, what about if I just do it at the same time every day and left my window intentionally, because we've all lost routine? And what if it was just something that happened at the same time every day?" she told ABC News.

So, she began playing every day at 5 p.m. with her window open.

She advertised the informal concerts locally. As restrictions were lifted, the crowd grew larger and larger, with her occasionally coming out to serve drinks and meet her fans.

Stubbs ended up performing 100 concerts in 100 days before taking a break. Then she returned and did another 100 concerts in 100 days. According to her website, she performed 250 total shows.

"The fact that people stood outside in the middle of December, with masks on, in the rain, to listen to music through a sort of barred window on an amplifier that was distorted with a busy intersection of traffic -- if that doesn't tell us how much we need music as human beings, I don't know what does," she said.

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