Victoria’s piano back on display in KolkataJune 21st, 2012 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) On World Music Day, music aficionados of the city got a glimpse of the Victorian era masterpiece - the grand pianoforte on which the Queen Victoria honed her skills - after it was put back on display at the Victoria Memorial Thursday.
The instrument, carved out of rosewood and manufactured by noted French piano makers Sebastian and Pierre Erard, was put inside a glass case at the Royal Gallery of the museum after a gap of almost two decades.
One of the most illustrious French piano manufacturers of all time, Sebastian Erard began building superior harpsichords in Paris in the 1700s. His instruments were so renowned that he obtained a license from Louis XVI to produce pianos for the French court.
With nephew Pierre, Sebastien also set up his manufacturing firm in London.
The specially ordered piano was gifted by then English king, William IV to his niece and successor Queen Victoria in 1829.
“The Queen, who had a knack for music, was tutored on the same piano by Lucy Anderson who was appointed her teacher in 1834. The instrument is now back in display after the section was closed for restoration,” curator Swapan Chakrabarty said.
One of the most eminent female pianists of the early Victorian era, Anderson was born in the English city of Bath and became the first woman pianist to perform for the Royal Philharmonic Society. She was later made its honorary member in 1869.
June 21 is celebrated as World Music Day and was conceptualised first in France in 1976 by American musician Joel Cohen who proposed an all-night music celebration to mark the summer solstice.
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