Paris Attacks: Why Pianist Davide Martello Chose 'Imagine' to Honor Paris Attack Victims

Martello drove 400 miles from Germany to Paris to pay tribute.

ByABC News
November 16, 2015, 11:50 AM

— -- The German pianist who drove 400 miles to play John Lennon’s peace anthem “Imagine” at the site of one of the deadly Paris attacks says he “broke down” after his performance that quickly went viral.

Davide Martello, 34, was watching the soccer game between France and Germany Friday night at a pub in Germany when news broke of explosions at Stade de France, France’s national soccer stadium where the match against Germany was being played.

As news of more attacks in Paris spread and the death toll rose – ultimately 129 people killed – Martello drove his portable piano nearly 400 miles to Paris and set the piano up on Saturday outside the Bataclan Concert Hall, where one of the attacks had occurred the night before during a concert.

When Martello, who is known as Klavierkunst and travels the world trying to play in every nation's capitol, played the John Lennon peace anthem “Imagine” outside the concert hall, his tribute quickly went viral, serving as solace for those grieving around the world for the City of Lights.

“I thought ‘Imagine’ would be the best song to describe my feelings,” Martello told ABC News.

Martello’s piano tribute was just one in several instances of people turning to music to help them process the Paris attacks.

Stadium-goers at Stade de France sang France’s national anthem as they were evacuated out of the stadium Friday. The anthem could also be heard on the streets of Paris and London.

The Metropolitan Opera performed the French National Anthem before Saturday's matinee performance of “Tosca” in New York City.

Martello posted on Facebook over the weekend that he is back in Germany and trying to process all the attention paid to his “Imagine” tribute.

“After I saw that insane violence I just followed my heart and went to Paris with my piano,” Martello wrote. “This was one of my most touching moments in my life and I need to rest and reflect about what happened in this short time.”