Restored Bechstein takes up residence

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LADY Bechstein is the latest immigrant to settle in Opotiki. Photo supplied

A GRAND piano made by high-end German manufacturer Bechstein will be welcomed to its new Opotiki home this weekend.

Dr Marijke Boers said one of the Opotiki Art Society members had purchased the piano, with a view to making it available to the public.

“They have offered to house it at the art society historic hall in King Street, for the use and enjoyment of the public,” she said.

“The piano is a beautifully restored Bechstein grand piano, dating from 1908.”

Dr Boers said there was a growing musical interest group in Opotiki.

“Our aim is to enable the appreciation and tuition of musical instruments to residents of Opotiki and surrounding districts, who might not otherwise have access to this tuition,” she said.

“We welcome young and old.”

The piano will be introduced to the public on Sunday at the Art Society Hall in King Street, from 1pm to 3pm.

There will be free demonstrations of piano playing, explanations of how a piano works and invitations to try out the piano.

Brief musical interludes with a variety of musicians will be part of the welcoming afternoon.

Entry is free but a koha is appreciated. Afternoon tea will be provided.

Welcome Lady Bechstein

OPOTIKI Art Society member Marijke Boers said Lady Bechstein is a so-called parlour grand, placed between baby grand and concert grand in size.

“It’s a perfect size for the art centre hall which has extraordinarily good acoustics,” she said.

Dr Boers said musicians who would help welcome Lady Bechstein to her new home included three experienced Opotiki musicians.

“Chris Waters is an eclectic and classically-trained guitar player who plays any style,” she said.

“Sandra Thompson is a classically-trained violinist, also now in Opotiki,  who puts her hand to anything and does great accompaniments to whatever anyone else is playing, as well as being able to do breath-taking solos when requested of her.

“Cecily Rose is our  London-trained pianist and singer who’s living in Opotiki. She’s in her early 80s and still fabulous.”

Dr Boers said David Priestly from Kapiti Coast Pianos had rebuilt the piano, maintaining the external casing and framework, but replacing the interior with new authentic German parts.

“He will be bringing it up this week, and staying on for the piano exhibitions,” she said.

“David is a London-trained piano tuner and he has worked extensively in the concert halls there.”