Having survived a decade learning his craft at one of the top piano conservatories in the world in Moscow, during which time his family inadvertently found themselves moving from one crime-riddled district to another, Antonio Domingos moved to Portugal in order to establish himself as a professional solo piano player in orchestras across Europe.
When he was betrayed by the financial backers who had initially been so supportive, he found himself at the back of the queue for every job and piano competition in Europe. Realising he needed something to make himself really stand out from the crowd, he pushed himself through hours of practise to become adept at playing some of the most difficult pieces ever written for the piano at the fastest speeds ever documented, whilst incidentally breaking the world record for numbers of times a piano keys hit in a minute along the way.
Antonio describes what happened next:
“That’s when the idea behind the Youtube channel “extremepianochannel” was born. Unfortunately, I was forced to sell my only piano, a Steinway cabinet grand, and, using the proceeds from its sale, purchase much cheaper ones, a daunting task, since it was very difficult to find pianos that were both of decent quality and had an action that was light and efficient enough for me to accomplish my intended technical feats. After three long years of waiting -during more than eighteen months of which I didn’t even have a piano in my home-, plus five trips abroad, the purchase and sale of three pianos, and battling a plethora of other obstacles along the way, I have managed to record a video of Chopin‘s ‘Revolutionary’ Etude, played in octaves, thirds, and sixths, instead of in single notes, as Chopin had originally written it (read the description under the video for more details):
I also managed to pull off one of the most notoriously difficult of Chopin‘s Etudes, namely op.10,#2, in 60 seconds, as a response to a challenge that had been circulating on the Internet for quite a while, thus possibly setting an (unofficial) world speed record:
Bear in mind that the ‘Revolutionary in Octaves’ stunt could arguably well be the most difficult and physically challenging musical composition ever performed on a piano, containing possibly the longest marathon of fast octaves in recorded history. To my knowledge, I am the only pianist in history to have made a video recording of this feat at the correct speed”.