A Piano in Briansk

From Bryanskoye Vremya, 5 April, 2002
Written by Edward Kostikov
Software translation from the original Russian
Edited by Valour 

A grand piano of a famous German brand has been presented to the Tatiana Nikolaeva Arts Academy for Children.

When one says that grand pianos grow on trees, there's something in that, joking apart. Because a grand piano actually comes from special, perfect evergreens. The trees should be felled after not too cold a winter nor too hot a summer. Then wood will live eternally, and the piano will sound grand. Even the composition of the varnish is a trade secret of the firm. In any case, the German "Grotrian-Steinweg", was named after its founders. And it has remained among the most famous of piano-making firms, now producing about 800 grand pianos per year. Many great musicians have played these instruments over the past 130 years.

One such instrument was appeared during the last few days of March in Briansk, on the stage of the Tatiana Nikolaeva Arts Academy for Children. It was presented as a token of special respect for Tatiana Nikolaeva's memory, for the school where she began the artistic and pedagogical activity, and to her pupils who became prominent pianists. It is also a token of respect for the city of Briansk which has become, in recent years, a veritable musical Mecca in Central Russia. Music festivals introducing young talents are held here. The Briansk Symphony Orchestra has been born under the leadership of Edward Ambartsumjan. On the international musical stage a new star - Valentina Igoshina, has appeared.

The instrument was brought to Briansk by its owners. On the day of presentation, they left on the stage a grand piano which will henceforth be owned jointly by the regional Philharmonic Society, and the Tatiana Nikolaeva Arts Academy. The grand piano will live in the concert hall of the academy which has the best acoustics in the city. That is, people will come here for great concerts, and see what trembling young musicians will touch its keys!

On stage, the general director of the Grotrian-Steinweg firm said : 

"It is pleasing to see that so many young people receive musical education within the walls of this school, and that our concert grand piano will share in this tremendous spiritual education. You are fortunate to have such fine teachers and leaders. Only very competent people choose the right brand of grand piano. Henceforth your school joins the roster of those famous venues all over the world which have our instrument, such as the concert halls and conservatories of Salzburg, Hannover, Zurich, the National Conservatoire in Paris...."

The city authorities of Briansk responded in kind with words of gratitude. 

But the moment of truth for the Grand Piano on the stage still had not arrived. According to the plan which was designed to electrify the public, its debut was appointed to second of three concert evenings in its honour. And even then, not from the outset.

The concert was opened by the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Edward Ambartsumjan. The powerful chords of Wagner's overtures and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances resounded. And while the audience enthusiastically shouted "bravo" at maestro Ambartsumjanu and his orchestral players, the grand piano was solemnly rolled out onto the stage, brilliantly polished, strikingly graceful and elegant.

And then it began to sound under fingers of the winner of numerous international competitions, Igor Poltavtsev, in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1. You couldn't possibly imagine a better debut for an instrument of such class. 

Day Three was devoted exclusively to the grand piano itself. An evening of piano music was presented by the winner of international competitions and Tatiana Nikolaeva's pupil, Nikolai Lugansky. He admitted that this evening was very exciting for him too. 

Musicians who are among the first to play on a new grand piano are included into its musical annals : a history which will perhaps be told for centuries. Lugansky appeared second. This time the musician played Chopin, Medtner, Rachmaninov, and Bach; Bach as an encore. You see, with Lugansky at the piano, the audience did not want to leave.

Read this article in Russian

The Nikolai Lugansky Web Site