Thank you András Schiff
I recently performed in Ernen, Switzerland and was pleasantly surprised at Herr Urs Bachmann’s (pictured with me) choice of Steinway for the beautiful Church of St Georg. Every year the picturesque village in the Alps host musicians from all over the planet for the annual Festival Musikdorf Ernen. I have had the pleasure to perform there on many occasions and have heard some of the most memorable concerts there.
With every festival in Ernen it is the choice of master piano technician Urs Bachmann which of his Steinway’s get delivered to the various venues. He supplies pianos to the biggest festivals in Switzerland. This year he told me the history of the Model D-274 I played on a few hours before my concert when he came to tune it. This instrument originally from Fabbrini (the famous Italian piano technician who supplies and prepares Steinways to the leading artists like Maurizio Pollini) was a favourite concert instrument of András Schiff. He performed multiple concerts over a number of years on this piano. During that time the world famous conductor Bernard Haitink needed a piano for his private concert hall he had built at his house in Lucerne. Schiff suggested the Fabbrini piano and Haitink bought it immediately. So this renowned piano moved to its new home where it was maintained by Bachmann. It stayed there until recently when Haitink sold the piano and the property. That is how Urs Bachmann acquired the instrument and could add it to the fleet of 30+ concert Steinways in his fleet.
It was so interesting to have tried the piano that morning of the concert – I was most impressed and inspired only then to learn soon after that it was owned and played on by such regarded musicians. The piano had a uniform sound from top to bottom which is ideal – some lesser instruments have a break between registers where the colour changes quite dramatically. The power of the sound and range of possible dynamic levels were impressive and simultaneously quite predictable which I liked. Bass was round and powerful – the treble was bright but not thin. I definitely felt something special from the instrument and it made this concert all the more special. We recorded the performance and made a live DVD recording as well, aimed for release in 2017, so you to will be able to share in the beautiful sound of this instrument.
So my heartfelt thanks to Schiff for suggesting this instrument to Haitink, making it possible for me to have the pleasure of performing on it.