20 April, 2011
It’s the perfect metaphor for the poor cultural management of Mumbai.
Four decades ago, the German government gifted a Steinway concert grand piano to this city.
Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, was flown to Mumbai by Steinway for the piano’s inaugural concert.
“Most concert halls abroad change their pianos every seven years,” says Mehroo Jeejeebhoy of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation (MMMF).
“We were losing out on great performers coming to the city because the piano was no longer up to standard. A piano has a life, it’s not a violin.”
On April 17, at a concert organized by the MMMF, a new US$225,000 Steinway ‘Model D’ Concert Grand Piano was unveiled for use in concerts in the city.
The piano for Mumbai was acquired by Furtados, a private firm with a history almost as long as the Steinway company itself. It’s Mumbai’s one-stop music shop, founded in 1865.
“The acquisition is a gesture and a considerable investment towards fostering Western classical music in the city, and to attract world-class performers to Mumbai,” said Furtados owner Anthony Gomes.
Celebrated Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, 23, was flown to Mumbai by Steinway for the inaugural concert.
Two hours and three encores later, this thrilling pianist brought a stunned audience to its feet; a befitting welcome for this latest act of largesse in Mumbai, for Mumbai, by Mumbai. The government notwithstanding.