The man’s talents went viral after Roslyn Polard happened upon him tickling the ivories one afternoon in the city's Churchill Square.
“I had to stop and turn around and go back, because it was so beautiful,” she said.
At first, she said, she felt like she might be intruding, since he was playing alone. Polard approached the musician, who she took to be homeless, and asked permission to film him. He agreed, and told her he was already on YouTube.
A quick search of YouTube revealed two more videos that appear to show the same man playing pianos around the city on Aug. 20, and then again a couple weeks later.
“You could see his face light up every time somebody walked by,” Polard said. “And he was happy to have an audience, he was happy to have someone to chat with.”
Polard ended up staying for four or five more songs before eventually tearing herself away.
“The music is beautiful. It really is,” she said. “The juxtaposition of it — him sitting there and pouring his heart and soul into this song.”
“It was a completely spontaneous event,” she said. “I feel very fortunate I was able to capture that.”
As of Wednesday evening, 1,364,784 people had watched the video she posted to YouTube on Oct. 23.
The video is so popular, she decided to license and monetize it, which means she is earning money from the advertisements that accompany it.
Now, Polard hopes to find the pianist again so she can give him the profits.