In one of our concert grand pianos, 243 taut strings exert a pull of 40,000 pounds on an iron frame. It is proof that out of great tension may come great harmony.
— Theodore E. Steinway
The 1888 Steinway Model C concert grand piano in the Ashton Hall, Lancaster Town Hall is a beautiful, early example of an iconic musical instrument.
Made just three years after the U.S patent was filed by C. F. Theodore Steinway, it has been resident in the Ashton Hall since the building of Lancaster Town Hall was completed in 1909.
The Ashton Hall Steinway is a piano which deserves to be played and heard more often and by a greater number of people. Although it still sounds excellent, a full restoration of the instrument is required before it might once again be considered a top-class concert grand. Returning the piano to its original condition, both acoustically and cosmetically, would help us to attract renowned musicians to the venue, thereby helping to improve Lancaster's provision of high-quality classical music events. It would also create an opportunity for budding and talented local pianists to practice and perform on an outstanding concert instrument in a beautiful historic hall.
The Save Our Steinway fund has so far raised £2,700 towards the total of £15,000 cost of the restoration, which will be carried out by experts in a specialist workshop in Hungary. In our opinion, this sum represents a worthwhile investment which will help to make part of Lancaster's musical heritage an important part of its musical future.
Find out how you can contribute to the Save Our Steinway appeal.
What a colourful tone! Amazing piano that you have here.
— Pianist François de Rochette, via YouTube
On the 3rd November 2017, concert pianist Paul Greenhalgh of Blackburn took part in a recording session in the Ashton Hall for Save Our Steinway.
The resultant CD; 'Piano Classics', contains over an hour of music comprising of a selection of popular pieces. It can be purchased for just £5 plus £1.50 postage and packaging (click the 'Buy Now' button below the CD sleeve image to order securely via PayPal). CDs will be dispatched by 1st class post within 2 days of receiving your order. All revenue raised from sales of the CD goes towards the Save Our Steinway piano restoration fund.
Listen to selected tracks from the CD below:
Frédéric Chopin—Nocturne in C Sharp Minor Op. Posth. Featured in the film 'The Pianist'.
Felix Mendelssohn—Song Without Words in E Major Op.19.
Ludwig van Beethoven—Sonata No.8 in C Minor Op.13 'Pathétique'. II. Adagio cantabile.
In 2018 there will be several opportunities to attend music performances in the Ashton Hall of Lancaster Town Hall which feature the Steinway Model C concert grand piano.
Concerts take place as part of the AHORP (Ashton Hall Organ Restoration Project) lunchtime music programme for the year. Entry to concerts is free, but voluntary donations can be made to the AHORP charity and the SOS (Save Our Steinway) fund. Full details of piano recitals can be found below:
Wed 18th April 2018, 1230—1330: Christine Tootill (Fylde).
Sat 2nd June 2018, 1400—1500: Robert Bird [piano] & Colin Porter [organ] (Liverpool). This performance is part of the Fourteenth Annual Lancaster Organ Festival. Tickets cost £6 each with all revenue going to the Ashton Hall Organ Restoration Project (AHORP).
Wed 29th August 2018, 1230—1330: Peter Blackburn (Lancaster).
Wed 31st October 2018, 1230—1330: Christine Tootill (Fylde).
All contributions to the Save Our Steinway appeal are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
If you want to get involved in Save Our Steinway, why not start by attending a recital at the Ashton Hall and/or purchasing a CD?
If you are an individual who wishes to make an independent donation, or the representative of a local company, business or organisation who wishes to discuss the possibility of corporate donation or sponsorship, please get in touch using the contact details or contact form below.
If you would like to offer your skills, support, and ideas to the Save Our Steinway appeal, we would be glad to hear from you. If you are a pianist resident in the local area, whether permanently or on a temporary basis, we would encourage you to get in touch and get involved. Save Our Steinway welcomes the input of new musicians, and we are particularly keen to undertake further recording sessions in order to showcase the potential of the piano and the acoustic within the Ashton Hall.