Rarely a day goes by without one of the Wigmore Hall's Steinway grand pianos being needed on stage for rehearsals or for a lunchtime or evening performance. Every key, hammer and string must be kept in top condition, ready for the performance of any repertoire. From almost daily tuning to biennial restringing, the maintenance of our pianos is constant and costly, in order to ensure they are the best possible instruments for our artists to perform on and for our audiences to hear.
Our two newer grand pianos were selected personally by András Schiff from the Steinway factory in Hamburg in 2007. Since then, each of the newer pianos has been at the Hall in turn for a period of time. There are always two pianos at the Hall: one a newer instrument, the other our existing older instrument (affectionately known as the ‘Old Lady’). The new piano takes the bulk of the concert load, with the Old Lady being offered to certain pianists if the instrument is their preference. Both pianos are therefore used for a variety of solo, chamber and song concerts. Regular maintenance is managed by Ulrich Gerhartz, Director of Concert and Artist Services at Steinway & Sons.
The Piano Fund at Wigmore Hall makes a substantial contribution towards the costs of maintaining our grand pianos. If you would like to support the essential work that goes into looking after these hard-working instruments, please make a donation to our Piano Fund.
All Piano Fund donors are kept informed each season about the pianos' upkeep and are invited to exclusive events and trips. There is even the possibility of playing one of the pianos in a private session lasting for 30 minutes (for donations of £1,000 or more).