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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 00:47 GMT
Pianist pulls off Beethoven stunt
Pianist Julian Jacobson
Julian Jacobson said it was "a self-test". Photo: WaterAid/Lisa Martin

A concert pianist has completed a marathon performance of all 32 of Beethoven's sonatas in one day.

Julian Jacobson took just three half-hour breaks during the 13-hour performance in a London church on Friday.

Mr Jacobson said he believed it was the first time anyone had achieved such a feat.

He is raising money for WaterAid, a charity which helps provide clean water to the poorest people around the world.

As the pianist began the challenge in St James' church, Piccadilly, at 0915 GMT, he said: "It's pretty crazy isn't it?"

He told BBC Radio 4 it was a "self-test to see if I can get through it all and keep my concentration", and a chance to raise money for his favourite charity.

"I had done the complete cycle several times and I took to thinking 'I wonder what it would feel like to do them all in a day,'" he told the Today programme.

Event organiser Tony Barlow said spectators were encouraged to donate generously, and they hoped to raise 5,000.

Julian Jacobson, pianist
"I think I'm as ready as I could be"

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