|Age (at audition)||74|
Harmonica Pierre, whose real name is Pierre Herbineaux, harmonica virtuoso, was born in Belgium and studied the violin as a child. He fell in love with the sound of the harmonica at age 15, after he heard world-renown harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler. Pierre subsequently taught himself to play the harmonica using his violin method books. Pierre was the soloist for the Trio Candido, who won the Harmonica World Championship in Luxembourg in 1957. They toured Europe and the United States from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Pierre and William Penn, PhD, piano virtuoso and composer, formed a duo (Herbineaux & Penn) and recorded two CDs (Harmonica Parade and Arizona Blues Train) in 1994 and 1995. They toured Europe in the mid to late 1990s. Pierre composed nine of the songs he recorded. Tucson composer Jay Vosk wrote a concerto for harmonica and orchestra for Pierre, which he premiered in 1993 with the University of Arizona's all-electronic Orchestra Nova conducted by Timothy Kolosick, PhD. In 1994, Pierre performed the concerto with the Catalina Chamber Orchestra conducted by Enrique Lasansky and the Tucson Junior Strings conducted by Dennis Bourret. In 2007, he performed the Third Movement with the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Symphony Orchestra conducted by Russell Guyver. In 2010, Pierre performed the concerto with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra conducted by Linus Lerner. Pierre is also a certified master watchmaker/clockmaker and repairs his own harmonicas. 1
At one point in his life, Pierre played the harmonica with his first wife. When his wife stopped playing the harmonica, she told him he had to stop playing the harmonica if he wanted to stay with her. With Pierre having chosen to continue playing the harmonica, Arlette divorced him.
Harmonica Pierre's audition in Episode 508 consisted of playing a section of "Rondo Alla Turca" and "Flight of the Bumblebee." Although Sharon Osbourne voted "No," Piers Morgan and Howie Mandel both voted "Yes," sending Pierre to the Vegas Round.
Harmonica Pierre was one of the Judge's Favorites in the Vegas Round. He was sorted into the "Harmonica Players" category. His performance in Episode 511 consisted of performing a piece on the harmonica. His audition was strong enough for the judges to send him to the Quarterfinals.
Harmonica Pierre's Quarterfinals performance in Episode 517 consisted of playing "Hey, Soul Sister" on the harmonica. He did not receive enough votes to finish in at least fourth or fifth place in America's Vote, eliminating him from the competition in Episode 518.
Harmonica Pierre was brought back by Piers Morgan for the Wild Card Show. His performance in Episode 523 consisted of playing "Alejandro" on the harmonica. Howie Mandel buzzed the act at the start of the performance as revenge for Piers having buzzed all of Howie and Sharon's Wild Card picks earlier in the show. Harmonica Pierre finished in either fourth or fifth place in America's Vote. In the Judges' Choice, although Piers voted for him, Sharon Osbourne and Howie did not, eliminating him from the competition in Episode 524 instead of Michael Lipari & Ashleigh Dejon.
After the Show
On the Season 5 Final 4 performance episode of America's Got Talent on September 14, 2010, Harmonica Pierre performed in Episode 531 as one of six of the "hottest variety acts from America's Got Talent 2010."