To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first public performance of the The Planets, John Broadwood and Sons are sponsoring a concert to be held at Finchcocks which will feature the intriguing piano duet version of the The Suite.
Holst (1974 – 1934) composed the planets whilst he was Head of Music at St Paul’s Girl’s School. Holst suffered from inflammation of the nerves in his right hand, which severely hinder his ability to play the piano, so most of his composing inspiration took place whilst he was engrossed at this long table in the school’s soundproof studio. He would regularly invite two of his friends on the school’s music staff, Nora Day and Vally Lasker, to play to him excerpts from the fledgling Planets, just to hear how the composition was progression.
Holst’s 7’6″ grand piano at St Paul’s was supplied by Broadwood in 1913 for the considerable sum of 225 guineas. It was long regarded as the flagship of the School’s fleet of pianos, being moved for important concerts within the school by Broadwood porters on at least 17 occasions, according to Broadwood’s records. The particular model used by Holst was one of the rare barless Drawing Room grand models – where the frame of the piano was constructed by using an externally reinforced structure (rather than internally mounted bars), and is identical to the Barless model we have here at Finchcocks which is used regularly during our piano courses.
Finchcocks will be using this piano to hosting a concert in the vaulted concert room on Saturday 28 September, which will include the piano duet version of The Planets (1922), performed by Jong-Gyung Park and Anthony Zerpa-Falcon with an introduction from Dr Alastair Laurence, chairman of John Broadwood and Sons. Jong-Gyung and Anthony will also play some excerpts from Gershwin in the second half.
Tickets can be booked using the form below. Capacity is limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Wine and elderflower cordial will be provided during the interval.