One of last week’s Piano Day events that sparked a lot of interest was the Table Mountain piano concert. Fourteen pianists, including world-reknowned Franklin Larey took part in a free concert on top of Cape Town’s Table Mountain last Wednesday (March 29) as part of the now worldwide celebration of the piano.
The free concert was sponsored by Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in partnership with Ian-Burgess-Simpson Pianos. To get a piano to the top of a mountain, isn’t the easiest of things to do. Especially so when it is a Shigeru Kawai grand piano. But seeing an hearing a piano in such an unusual location makes the event so special, and memorable.
Using a piano as a visual stimulus in order to celebrate or publicise a cause is not new. One of the most spectacular such events was Ludovico Einaudi’s stunning 2016 piano performance on an ice-flow to bring attention to Greenpeace’s Save the Artic campaign.
Einaudi performed his own composition “Elegy for the Artic” on a baby grand piano from Steinway’s Hamburg factory, amongst the icebergs carving from Svalbard’s Wahlenbergbreen glacier. The event generated massive press coverage around the globe.
A slightly more modest, yet massively impressive and emotional event took place last weekend.
Two climbers, Rachel Slater (24) and Tim Newton (27) died in an avalanche on Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest mountain) on Valentines Day 2016.
On Saturday, a grand piano was transported across Lake Windemere and up to Claife Heights viewing station. Here local pianist Robert Richmond gave a free recital in memory of the climbers and to raise funds for the Coniston and Lochaber Mountain Rescue teams. These organisations spent over 5 weeks tirelessly looking for the couple. The climbers’ parents gave their full support to the event. They confirmed it was a beautiful way to honour Rachel and Tim.
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