A PIANIST suffering from dementia whose spontaneous composition went viral has fulfilled his lifelong dream of conducting a symphony orchestra.

Paul Harvey, 81, improvised a two-minute piece from four notes – F natural, A, D and B natural – from his home in Sussex.

The video, recorded by his son Nick, was posted on Twitter and captured the hearts of the nation.

The impromptu composition was recorded by BBC Philharmonic as a single with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia -a campaigns for people with the condition to have free access to music as part of their care.

A former music teacher at Imberhorne School in East Grinstead, Paul had a dream of one day conducting a symphony orchestra.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the viral video, Paul was invited to conduct the BBC Philharmonic on television.

The orchestra played two of Paul’s compositions at their studio in Salford.

The Argus: Paul Harvey fulfilled his dream of conducting symphony orchestra Paul Harvey fulfilled his dream of conducting symphony orchestra

The former classical pianist spent a full afternoon with the orchestra, during which he conducted both Four Notes alongside Nick who played the piano and an older composition of his called Where’s the Sunshine.

Paul said it was a “magical” moment he’s been wanting forever.

“It was very, very special to work with such wonderful musicians,” he said. “It made me feel alive.

“I couldn’t believe that an orchestra was playing my music and I was standing in front of it conducting them.

“I hadn’t conducted in such a long time before this, it was a real thrill.”

The Argus: Dementia suffering pianist fulfils dream of conducting symphony orchestra Dementia suffering pianist fulfils dream of conducting symphony orchestra

Born in Stoke, Paul studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music before becoming a composer.

Before transitioning into teaching shortly before Nick was born, the concert pianist also appeared on the BBC Home Service in 1964.

He spent 20 years teaching at Imberhorne School, whose former pupils include Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede, famed for his hit ballad (I Just) Died in Your Arms.

Paul’s Rumba Toccata is still used in grade six piano exams.

Five years ago, Paul moved into sheltered accommodation as part of his dementia care.

His son Nick said he has seen his dad “come alive again” since the video of him playing piano went viral.

“It moved dad and me and my two brothers beyond compare,” he said. “It was a dream come true for dad to conduct and play with an orchestra of that calibre as an 81-year-old.

The Argus: Dementia suffering pianist fulfils dream of conducting symphony orchestra Dementia suffering pianist fulfils dream of conducting symphony orchestra

“It’s what dreams are made of. It was like an out of body experience.

“My dad is still reeling, he was having memories of what had happened over the last few days.

“His short-term memory is generally shot to pieces but when big events like this happen it’s like a branding iron on his brain. When I spoke to dad afterwards, he was flooded with these memories of the orchestra.”

Nick said his father has been playing piano recently more than he has in the last eight years.

The event, organised by Music For Dementia, was broadcast on BBC Breakfast on Monday morning.

Campaign director at Music for Dementia Grace Meadows said: "It was magical and moving and wonderful to watch him be in his element.

“Seeing Paul the musician seeing beyond his diagnosis and have the contact with the musicians was a wonderful thing. It was very emotional.”