Pianists take part in Steinway Artist Masterclass

Oakham’s piano department was thrilled to receive an invitation to take part in the Steinway Artist Masterclass on Thursday 29th November with concert pianist, Charles Owen, held at the prestigious venue of Steinway Hall.

Head of Piano Mrs Anne Bolt tells us more:

"We took seven of our gifted pianists to London where they were treated to a personal tour of the showroom and given the chance to try out a variety of pianos. One was a newly developed piano that can be controlled by an ipad, another was a grand piano decorated with a tiger striped finish (looking more like it belonged in the jungle than the showroom!) and a further piano was a restored 130 year old Steinway.

There followed a tour of the factory, which included seeing the inside of a piano without its strings. The pupils learnt about what goes into making a Steinway soundboard. We found out that some trees used for the soundboards are up to 50 years old and the overall cost of a soundboard can be as much as 10,000 Euros!

The tour concluded with the opportunity to play two of the best Steinways around  - one was Mitsuko Uchida’s favourite Steinway for recording and the other was one used on the stage of the Wigmore Hall.

After the tour, Jessica and Rupert (Form 5) had the opportunity to perform in a masterclass with one of Britain’s finest pianists, Steinway Artist, Charles Owen. Jessica performed part of her Haydn piano concerto that she was preparing for a concert performance with a professional orchestra, and Rupert played Brahms’ Intermezzo in A minor, one of his Grade 8 pieces (he went on to achieve a distinction in his exam a week later). Charles gave them plenty of ideas to think about and it was certainly a day to remember for all involved."

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