Mum who fled to Edinburgh makes it to The Piano final with emotional performance

Daria Golovchenko has made the final
Daria Golovchenko has made the final -Credit:Channel 4 / Nic Serpell-Rand

A Ukrainian refugee who fled to Edinburgh with her daughter has made it to the final of Channel 4's Piano.

Daria Golovchenko was forced to leave her home in Kherson in April 2022 with her daughter, who was two years old at the time, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

She impressed judges, commuters and locals with her breath-taking performance at Waverley Station in Edinburgh. After settling in the capital, she explained that playing the piano made her "feel strong again".

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Sunday night's episode showcased Daria's performance and she was the last contestant to perform. The mum, who is in her 30s, played a rendition of 'Libertango' by Italian composer Astor Piazzolla, reports The Scottish Sun.

After wowing the judges, Mika and Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Daria was selected for the final of the series, which is presented by Claudia Winkleman.

Daria said: "I couldn't imagine I would be here when I was in Ukraine. It's so emotional because it means what I'm playing is not an empty thing.

"People can hear what I want to say through the piano. When I first came to the UK it was very difficult. I started playing the piano again and it was like a dancer who didn't dance for a long time.

"Before the war the piano was just an instrument to me but here it helped me to be myself. I can speak through the piano. I feel confident, powerful and very happy."

She added that when the war started in her hometown, her life "changed completely". She said: ""The airport was just 10km from my house and it was bombed every single day.

"I had a child and we didn't have food, no nappies, no medication. To get things that my daughter needed to survive I had to walk through the train station and on the roof of that train station there was a sniper. It was our daily life. I was so scared.

"It was the most difficult decision of my life to leave my family, to leave my hometown, to leave Ukraine."

She started playing the piano when she was five years old, and is now set to perform at a concert in Manchester where the winner of the series will then be chosen.