“When the West End production of ‘Wicked’ opened in 2006, I realised that the demanding nature of the Keys 1 part would require a top quality keyboard. I tried out various instruments to see which felt closest to a real piano, the only one that satisfied me was the Kawai MP4. Since then I have also played MP5, MP8 and I’m currently using an MP10.
All the Kawai MP keyboards I’ve used in the show have been 100% reliable and have maintained their consistency of touch.” Pete Whinnett, 1st Keyboards, ‘Wicked’
Pete took his first piano lessons at the age of 6 and then studied at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester from the age of 9.
Doctor Gradus, the art-rock/jazz/impressionist quartet, is Pete’s current creative project. Doctor Gradus re-imagine the music of the French impressionists, requiring Pete to run the dynamic gauntlet from an intimate chamber accompaniment to improvising over an uncompromising rock power trio via be-bop runs and syncopated unison accents. The band’s debut album was release in January 2015 on the Musea Paralelle label.
Pete is also the principal keyboardist in the Laurence Olivier Award winning West End show Wicked where he uses a Kawai MP10 exclusively; the advanced pianistic writing demanding a natural feeling hammer action but with all the versatility, connectivity (and space saving!) that only a stage piano can provide.
As a live and studio session player he has worked with a wide range of artists from Mary Coughlan to David Foster and he toured the world extensively as pianist / keyboard player for the original production of Riverdance.