AS a last minute substitute, he came on and played an absolute blinder.

This may sound more like football-speak but it remains true nevertheless.

The scheduled soloist for the BSO's rather extraordinary Magical Fairytales evening at the Lighthouse was Alexander Gavryluk, compatriot from Ukraine of chief conductor, Kirill Karabits.

But he was unable to make it for Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto Number 1.

In stepped Vadym Kholodenko (to complete the symmetry also from Ukraine) who produced what can only be described as a jaw-dropping performance, one that the composer himself as soloist on his own work, would have surely approved of.

His magical hands were a blur and his efforts were clearly appreciated by audience, musicians and conductor, the very flamboyant and fascinating Ion Marin.

He defected from Romania in 1986 to start a new life in Vienna.

The evening began in fairly gentle style with Ravel's five movement Mother Goose Suite, based on fairytales such as Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb and Beauty and the Beast.

Rachmaninov's powerful and evocative masterpiece (a 1917 revision and that year has just a little significance for Russia) followed. It was the clear highlight for me.

The second half was also an elaborate Russian epic painting thousands of pictures, Stravinsky's Petrushka 'the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries.'

And talking of images, the concert was a partnership with Arts University Bournemouth whose undergraduates displayed their work in illustration, costume, creative writing and performance design on the theme of Petrushka.

A stunning collaboration on a wonderful evening showcasing an incredible range of talent.