Our Bechstein model A has just been restored and has a fascinating provenance.
The piano belonged to the distinguished London music critic, Hugh Scott, whose grandson, Hugh Wooldridge has very kindly loaned it to us.
In the early 20th century, the piano was played by the pianist Alexander (Sasha) Helpman, and the conductors Sir Henry Wood (the founder of the Proms), Sir Malcolm Sargent (the chief conductor of the Proms and a national institution), Sir John Barbirolli (the Halle Orchestra); and the great British composer, Sir William Walton.
As the piano passed to Hugh’s father, the composer John Wooldridge (1919 – 1958), he wrote his Cello Concerto for Maurice Eisenberg and his Oboe Concerto for Leon Goossens. He also wrote several of his film scores on it – including The Guinea Pig (with Lord Richard Attenborough), Fame is the Spur (with Sir Michael Redgrave) and Appointment in London (with Sir Dirk Bogarde).
In its last home Hugh himself, wrote The Mass for St John’s (1972) and various TV theme tunes. And it was played for and by many distinguished West End folk including Sarah Brightman, Charles Strouse, David Firman, James McConnel and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This piano has been praised for its sweet sound; and for an instrument that is over 110 years old it is in remarkably good condition.
If you’d like to play the Bechstein and join us on a course, drop us a line using the form below, telling us a bit about your playing experience to date.