He was once a homeless man, but through a symphony he wrote, he’s now living a life as a millionaire.
Stuart Sharp, now 74, has been homeless for ten years. But after he decided to pen down the melody that came to his head after his child’s death in 1974, he was hailed a music genius and earned quite the wealth.
Sharp said that he never had a musical training, but the sounds he heard that time were so vivid that he convinced himself to turn it into a music to pay tribute to his son, Ben, who died too young.
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After his son died, Sharp’s wife, Jo, fell ill too because of complications, leaving Sharp in great trauma.
During his son’s funeral, Sharp shared that he had “a vision of soothing, beautiful music.” He said it seemed like it was very real that he could literally see instruments playing the notes of the song. “I did not know what the notes were, and at times, I doubted my sanity,especially that I am an atheist. But I came to understand that it was music for my son, and I could see it on stage one day,” he narrated.
When his wife came back from the hospital after being confined for over a year, Sharp, who suffered depression at the time, told his wife he wanted to pursue his dream to create an orchestral piece. But Jo did not support him.
Sharp left home and ended up on the streets. Still determined to follow his vision, he bought a guitar and tried to follow the melody still playing on his head.
Sharp’s life took a 360-degree turn when he met musician Anthony Wade, who saw him sleeping outside the BBC’s Television Center. Wade gave him a place to stay and offered to transcribe his music.
The Philharmonia Orchestra of London picked up Sharp’s music and played it before a large audience. Amazingly enough, the symphony received a standing ovation.
Alan Wilson, conductor of The Philharmonia Orchestra, said of Sharp’s creation, “Stuart’s vision for his musical work was remarkable and it’s quite astounding that a non-professional musician has come up with something of this quality. I guess it’s a bit like someone attempting brain surgery without ever going to medical school—genius.”
Stuart Sharp made some money out of his composition and became a self-made millionaire through sales and property.
He said, “It took many years to get the tunes out of my head, but I managed it, and since then, I have written 30 more pieces.”
According to Sharp, everything in his life happened for a reason, including his son’s death.
“I think after Ben died, I died and became a different person,” he said.