'I hope it's happy in piano heaven,' says musician after rare piano was destroyed in move

BERLIN (NYTIMES) – For 17 years, Angela Hewitt, one of the world’s foremost classical pianists, has been performing recitals and creating acclaimed recordings with a rare concert grand piano.

But their partnership has now ended. This week, she composed a eulogy for her beloved instrument, as full of emotion and longing as the music she once created with it.

Movers had dropped the piano, destroying it.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (Feb 9), Hewitt described having just completed a recording of Beethoven variations at a studio in Berlin.

She was elated with the results, she said, and as she was finishing up with her producer, the movers entered the control room, mortified.

“They had dropped my precious Fazioli concert grand piano,” she wrote.

“I adored this piano,” she continued. “It was my best friend, best companion.”

Hewitt, a Canadian who lives in London, said she was so distraught that it took her 10 days to tell the story.

“I hope my piano will be happy in piano heaven,” she added.

The piano was an F278 model with four pedals – the only one of its kind to have such a mechanism, she wrote.

“I loved how it felt when I was recording – giving me the possibility to do anything I wanted,” she wrote.

The accident will not affect her concert schedule, Ms Jane Brown, Hewitt’s publicist in London, said. “She will still perform on a Fazioli concert grand when one is available, thanks to the various dealers they have around the world.”

Hewitt said in her Facebook post that the piano’s “iron frame is broken, as well as much else in the structure and action” of the instrument. It had been deemed “not salvageable” after an inspection by the staff at Fazioli Pianos, which produces grand and concert grand pianos in Sacile, Italy, that can cost several hundred thousand dollars.

Ms Brown declined to comment on the value of Hewitt’s piano.

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