Showing posts with label Steinway & Sons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steinway & Sons. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meanwhile in Westminster...

Meanwhile in Westminster, it's not all scandal: over in the Westminster Cathedral Hall, the splendid Chopin Society continues to hold piano recitals on Sunday afternoons, given by some of the world's leading artists. Next up is the adorable Piers Lane in an all-Chopin programme. It's his only London recital for the remainder of this season - he is a very busy person and has a massive commitment in his native Australia, where he is now head of the Sydney International Piano Competition. On Sunday he'll be playing the Society's beautiful new Hamburg Steinway Model B grand, for which the gala we both attended about 18 months ago raised funds (see pic).

Here's a taster of what goes on when you choose a new Steinway in Hamburg: Piers went there six years ago to select another instrument, and was filmed...

Here are full details for the concert on Sunday:

Sunday 17th April 2016 at 4.30pm (16:30)
Westminster Cathedral Hall
Ambrosden Ave SW1P 1QW
(nearest tube: Victoria)

A piano recital by


who will play an all-Chopin programme as follows:

Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major Op. 29
Fantasie in F minor Op. 49
Etude in E major Op. 10 No. 3 “Tristesse”
Ballade No. 3 in A flat major Op. 47
Polonaise in F sharp minor Op.44
Scherzo No. 4 in E major Op. 54
Nocturnes Op. 62: No. 1 in B major and No. 2 in E major
Mazurka Op. 17 No. 4;
Barcarolle Op. 60

Tickets: £14 (standard), £12 (seniors over 60), £8 (students)*
Book online via this link:
*students tickets only available on the door. Student reservations: 020 8960 4027.
Stay for tea and meet the pianist
Tea tickets: £7, £5 (students), £4 (Youth Members)
Tea tickets available on the door on the day
Travel directions to the venue on our website:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barenboim designs new piano - and plays it here, tomorrow

Astonishing news this morning that Daniel Barenboim will be playing his Royal Festival Hall Schubert series on a brand-new piano that he conceived and commissioned himself. It was unveiled today at the hall and is called the Barenboim-Maene Concert Grand, developed and built by piano maker Chris Maene of Belgium, with support from Steinway & Sons. I'm going to three of the four concerts and can't wait to hear how it sounds.

The other day at Classical:NEXT I had a go on a fortepiano - one recently built - and was amazed at the lightness of the touch and the ease with which it produces a beautiful, singing tone. How come pianos have kept on being made larger, heavier and more unwieldy, playing ever-louder with sensitivity suffering the while? Gergely Boganyi in Budapest unveiled a new piano a few months ago - one with a reasonably space-age design; the fashion for Fazioli (which sometimes convinces me and sometimes doesn't) has been gathering pace; and now it could be that Barenboim's initiative is going to point the way forward to something of a revolution in how we play and listen to the instrument.

I will report back after the concert. Meanwhile, here's the info...

Photo (c) Chris Maene

"The new Barenboim-Maene piano combines the touch, stability, and power of a modern piano with the transparent sound quality and distinguishable colour registers of more historic instruments. While on the outside it does not differ significantly in looks from a modern concert grand, most of its components – including the braces, soundboard, cast-iron frame, bass strings, keyboard and action – have been specially-designed and tailor made, and the positioning of others, such as the hammers and strings, is radically different.

"Barenboim was inspired to create a new piano after playing Franz Liszt’s restored grand piano during a trip to Siena in September 2011. Struck by the vital differences in sound of an instrument constructed with straight, parallel strings rather than the diagonal crossed ones of a contemporary instrument, he set out to create a brand new instrument that combines the best of the old and the new and offers a real alternative for pianists and music-lovers in the 21stcentury."

photo (c) Paul Schirnhofer/DG
Daniel Barenboim says:
“The transparency and tonal characteristics of the traditional straight-strung instruments is so different from the homogenous tone produced by the modern piano across its entire range. The clearly distinguishable voices and colour across its registers of Liszt’s piano inspired me to explore the possibility of combining these qualities with the power, looks, evenness of touch, stability of tuning and other technical advantages of the modern Steinway. I am so delighted to have worked with Chris Maene, who had the same dream and I must pay tribute to his incredible technical expertise and his deep respect for both tradition and innovation. I must also thank Steinway & Sons, for bringing us together and for delivering key components for our new instrument, thus enabling a perfect match of the traditional qualities and modern advantages.”