In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini
Adam Ockelford

In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini

The extraordinary story of the musical genius Derek Paravicini, born blind and with severe learning difficulties, by the music psychologist who has acted as his mentor for the last twenty years.

'In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini' tells the story of one of the most remarkable people you are ever likely to encounter. After being left for dead when he was born four months premature, blind and with severe learning difficulties, Derek started to teach himself the piano. When Adam Ockelford encountered him aged 5, he was already playing a wide range of pieces in his own inimitable style. After daily tuition for some years, Derek's first big break came when he was nine, playing jazz with the Royal Philharmonic Pops at the Barbican. Concerts in the UK and Europe followed, and international media attention, most recently with three appearances on the '60 Minutes' show in the US. To find out the latest news about Derek, including recordings and concert appearances, please visit his website at

Book Details:

  • Author: Adam Ockelford
  • Published Year: 2007
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Hutchinson
Adam Ockelford

Adam Ockelford

Professor Adam Ockelford is Director of the Applied Music Research Centre at the University of Roehampton in London. He trained as a musician at the Royal Academy of Music in the 1970s before developing an interest in music psychology. One of his main areas of research is in children with special music abilities or needs - particularly those on the autism spectrum - and he and Derek Paravicini, the musical 'savant' with whom Adam has worked for over 30 years, have a renowned TED talk to their name: Adam is i...
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Book Reviews

  • "An extraordinary story of a troubled child who found his metier."
    Publishing News
  • "A moving account of an incredibly gifted pianist"
    Mail on Sunday
  • "Nobody can really 'know' Paravicini since he is locked in his own world ... What Ockelford demonstrates is that it is possible to make such an insular world fulfilling, and the contemplation of this can touch the rest of us. That, in itself, is a considerable achievement."
    Daily Telegraph
  • "Ockelford tells his story well. No one else ... could have explained Derek in quite the same way."
    Daily Mail