Brentwood School has announced a partnership with Steinway & Sons which will see its musicians performing on the world’s finest pianos and the school becoming one of only 16 accredited Steinway Schools in the UK.
Brentwood’s young pianists will also enjoy benefits including regular masterclasses with Steinway artists and the chance to perform in the recital space at Steinway Hall, in London.
Five of the school’s music scholars joined Florian Cooper, director of music, on a trip to the Steinway factory in Hamburg for a tour of the factory and to select 11 handcrafted instruments.
Mr Cooper commented: “They showed maturity, musical talent and academic prowess throughout the day. Everyone they came into contact with remarked on not just their immense performances on the piano, but on their nuanced and astute critique of the instruments and thoughtful questions. They were a true credit to the school.
“What was most remarkable was that the children had a huge say in the decision-making process and were guided expertly into assessing which instruments best suited the needs of the different spaces and requirements we have at school.”
During the selection process, each student played segments of their repertoire on each piano and ranked the pianos according to different criteria: touch and ease to play, tone colour and suitability to performance space, and to what extent they suited different repertoire.
“Despite every piano in the room being of flawless quality, I was amazed by how quickly the students were able to make nuanced judgements about the relative merits of each piano and how quickly they were able to aurally visualise the spaces in which the pianos would be used.”
The new pianos will be delivered on 8 November, and unveiled at a special concert in the school’s Wessex Auditorium which will see all 11 of the new pianos played by notable guests and culminating in a special rendition of the school song.