7th Aug, 2020

Arts groups' fears Bromsgrove's rare piano could be sold off to pay Artrix debts

Tristan Harris 22nd Apr, 2020 Updated: 22nd Apr, 2020

A RARE piano played by some of the world’s top musicians is liable to be sold off after the demise of Artrix.

The model D Steinway, used by John Lill, Nigel Kennedy and late pianists John Ogdon and Nikita Magdaloff, has been part of Bromsgrove’s music scene for 50 years and was moved to the centre when it opened in 2005.

The piano was first bought new by the old Shenstone College in 1964 where, in the old college hall (later NEW College hall) at the top of School Drive, it was used for many events, including Bromsgrove Festival recitals.

When the hall was demolished in the late 1990s, the piano was looked after at Redditch College and then by Ladbrokes Pianos before being housed at Artrix.

John Tyrrell, who has tuned the piano for decades since it was at the Shenstone College Hall, fitted a new set of hammers in 2007, funded by the late Harold Taylor.

Under a ten-year agreement NEW College had daytime use of Artrix for performing arts courses and the piano took centre stage for all sorts of concerts and events.

When the agreement ended in 2014, the college gifted the piano to Artrix on condition it was kept ‘concert ready’.

It then became an Artrix asset and is now in the hands of the liquidators.

Bromsgrove Concerts has maintained the piano since and helped raised more than £12,000 to have it fully restored and completely restrung last year, making it ‘as new’.

Bromsgrove Arts Alive (BAA) has written to Bromsgrove District Council to see if anything can be done to keep it in the town.

A BAA spokesperson said: “Such instruments are usually only to be found in the greatest concert halls and venues around the world, so Bromsgrove is indeed privileged to have one its midst.

“This piano is part of Bromsgrove’s heritage.

“It has been lovingly cared for, fully restored, and it long predates Artrix.

“We must make sure it is retained for future audiences to enjoy.”

The insolvency practitioners are due to finish their work at the end of this week.

Visit our website for the latest updates on Artrix.

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