My relocation to the Netherlands in 2003/2004 coincided with a refund of monies from Singapore. It was a milestone for change.
Frustrated by the daily challenge of finding a good piano to practise at the conservatory in Utrecht and the inadequate upright piano at home in Bussum, I decided to find a grand piano of my own.
First I visited the local piano shop whose owner led me to a room full of Yamahas. I could not find a piano that was special enough to be different. I abandoned the idea of a Yamaha and went for a Steinway instead. The story of how I found that piano and the piano technician who helped me negotiate the price is an interesting one, perhaps for another blog post. He did request that I visit his atelier after I got back from Taiwan. A month later, the French polished, restrung Steinway grand arrived in Bussum.
It was a glorious moment — to finally have a Steinway Grand Piano in my home. The Steinway was not from Hamburg but from New York. Made in 1909. All 188 CM of it. Model A. Ivory keys. One celebrated concert pianist, Dutch winner of the Liszt Piano Competition who commuted between Vienna and Utrecht, remarked that it was a Rachmaninoff piano for it had that romantic sound.
Here’s how the Steinway sounds: Intermezzo by Allan Segall, performed by Anne Ku, recorded by Robert Bekkers.
I held a Steinway Warming party for my piano friends. With the upright piano, four pianists could play on both pianos. We tried all sorts of duets.
Once I got accustomed to being the proud owner of a Steinway, it was time to let go of my Gerhard Adam, a German mahogany grand piano from the 1920’s which I left behind in London. I wrote a decision making guide to buying a second-hand piano to help sell that piano online. Once again I walked down my memory lane of buying a piano. I wrote an Adieu which used all 88 keys on the piano, a way for me to say goodbye thru the new owner I did not meet.
Here is a recording of my playing on my Steinway. Adieu to a Piano by Anne Ku
In summer 2006, the Steinway moved with me to Utrecht. We launched the Monument House Concert Series with a violin and guitar concert by Duo 46. That December we chose the theme Piano as Orchestra, featuring several concertos (harp, euphonium, guitar). The following year we combined food with music in Chamber Music Tapas Style. Every year we committed to organizing two house concerts. Often we had several mini concerts, including a kitchen concert, garden concert, impromptu concert. Each time we became more adventurous and more professional. We outsourced food and wine to professional chefs and wine sommeliers. We included art exhibitions.
On my last trip back to the Netherlands, I felt compelled to host two concerts back to back. Despite being time-challenged with only 2.5 months to sort out my things, I felt it was important to organize these concerts for two American pianists on their way to the Italian alps. Why? Maybe instinctively I knew it was the last time my grand piano would be heard in a concert setting. Sure enough, 2nd July 2011 became the last house concert.
This Steinway Grand, made in New York in 1909, model A – 188 cm – needs a home. SALE. RENT. or LOAN.
Steinway for Sale with new photos and sound clips.
Interested parties please use the LEAVE A REPLY field below.