His name is Joao Carlos Martins. He is a well-known Brazilian pianist, who has already recorded the complete works for keyboard of Johann Sebastian Bach. When he was only 18, he had to deal with focal dystonia of the hand. It is a painless loss of muscle control. In addition to this paralysis, the 80-year-old musician injured his elbow during a football match and was also attacked in the head in 1995.
For almost 20 years, he has gradually lost the use of his fingers due to illness, despite 24 surgeries that have failed. With a heavy heart, he had no choice but to gradually stop playing the piano, despite his passion. However, the virtuoso never gave up music and became a conductor, but in February 2019, he decided to stop his career on stage. Thanks to neoprene and carbon fiber bionic gloves invented by one of his fans, a certain Ubirata Costa, Joao Carlos Martins was able to play many classical pieces on the piano again, as before. For the scores, the pianist was able to count on a robot that turned the pages for him.
Gloves at a very affordable manufacturing cost
On his Instagram account this September 22, 2020, he unveiled a very moving video of him playing Bach’s Alessandro Marcello on his piano. A moment suspended in time, where we see the artist almost cry with joy at being able to use his fingers. Now, Joao Carlos Martins plans to make his comeback in the spotlight. He wants to set up his own orchestra with disadvantaged children to teach them the art of music. The gloves that were made for him work thanks to a system of mechanical springs. In total, they cost the very affordable sum of a hundred euros. The pianist is now doing rehearsals to master his gloves as much as possible because he has planned to perform next October in New York.
Joao Carlos Martins © Instagram screenshot