A review of the first Saturday Piano Salon at Steinway Hall, May 12th 2012

Frances Wilson wrote this review of our first event. More videos to be added very soon.

The first Piano Salon was held on Saturday 12th May in the recital room at London’s Steinway Hall. Billed as “an informal performance opportunity for amateur adult pianists” and hosted by Melanie Spanswick and Lorraine Liyanage, it was a friendly gathering of around 15 performers and some observers (mostly family and friends of those performing).

Lorraine and Melanie, founders of the Piano Salon

The motivation for establishing the Piano Salon is that adult amateur pianists often lack the opportunity to perform, particularly on such as fine instrument as a Steinway Model D. Many amateur pianists are quite content to practice and play at home, but for some of us the will and the need to perform is there: certainly, for me, it is important to put repertoire “out there”, to hold it up for scrutiny before an audience. Interesting things can happen when you perform a piece you’ve been working on, and performance opportunities like this are particularly helpful for people who are working towards exams or diplomas, or who are preparing for festivals. There is less pressure when playing before a friendly audience, and plenty of compliments were exchanged after the performances at the Piano Salon.

Veena, Lorraine, Melanie and Frances

There was an interesting mix of repertoire, including pieces by Bach, Rachmaninov, Schumann, Liszt, Ginastera and Suk, and two pianists performed their own compositions. The event opened with a performance of one of Roger Quilter’s songs by soprano Jane Wilkinson, accompanied by Melanie Spanswick on the piano, which allowed everyone the chance to settle ahead of their own performance, and gave a real sense of occasion to the afternoon. When the music was finished, we enjoyed plenty of ‘piano chat’ with wine. It was very nice to meet other pianists and to catch up with people I’d met previously on courses and at festivals.

The organisers of the Piano Salon intend to hold the event bi-monthly, and I am also investigating the possibility of hosting a similar event in my area (south-west London). Keep an eye on the Piano Salon website for updates and details of future events. A review and selection of photographs from the event are on ClassicalMel’s blog.

Videos from the event:

Frances Wilson plays Adagio from Bach’s Concerto in D minor after Marcello:

Lorraine Liyanage plays Scarlatti Sonata K29 in D major:

Guido plays his own composition, Sxcatterling:

More videos will be posted today!


About Lorraine

Head Teacher at the SE22 Piano School, a private piano teaching practice in East Dulwich, South London. I work with a fantastic team of teachers offering piano, harpsichord & music theory lessons to adults and children from the age of 4. www.se22piano.co.uk
This entry was posted in Amateur Piano Group for Adults, Performance Opportunities, Steinway Hall and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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