Shacklefords Piano

Buxton premiere will make music in time with the time it was written

Renowned pianist Peter Donohoe will play a “time machine” at Buxton International Festival thanks to a piano custom-made to the standards of Mozart’s day.

Piano keys were only half as deep then as they are today, so when Peter plays Mozart, Schubert and Haydn in the Festival on July 10 it will mean the music is in time with the times in which it was written.

The special piano has been be adapted to the technical piano-features of the era by the very small, family-run piano manufacturer Steingraeber & Söhne from Bayreuth, Germany, who developed these historical ‘re-inventions’ at the request of the Russian/German pianist Jura Margulis and implemented them on their modern pianos.

The violinist Alissa Margulis will perform in Buxton 2019 in a duo together with Peter as well.

The Steingraeber & Söhne E-272 piano, supplied by Shackleford Pianos of Macclesfield, reflects the designs of the period from 1810 to 1840 which had a “sordino” pedal, also called a celeste pedal, as a normal register.

Modern pianos are very different, so the special piano should enable the artists to get closer to the original ideas of the composers.

Shackleford Pianos in Macclesfield has been the local Steingraeber partner since 2018. Aaron Shackleford and his team will provide the piano-full-service to the Buxton Festival 2019.

Special features piano experts will understand include:

The Sordino pedal, which is a felt-strip moves into to gap in between hammer and changes the sound; it does not only muffle, it might be played in fortissimo as well – alternatively it is available with a leather strip. The function is initialized by the middle pedal; it is interchangeable with the normal Sostenuto function.

The Mozart Rail: a hand rail under the keyboard where the pianist might select his preferred key dip before playing in between 8 and 10,3 mm.

Booking: Peter Donohoe: 3.30 to 5pm, July 10.