Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos! This is a sort of on-line club for anyone who owns, or would like to own, a square piano. Or anyone who is just interested, possibly to learn a little more.
Please get in touch with me, David, on email@example.com with questions, comments, or just to say 'Hello'. This is a site for everyone, especially those new to the world of Square Pianos. And of course, we very much appreciate the support of those with more experience.
Square Piano Weekend
9th - 11th May
We can confirm that our informal Square Piano Weekend will take place at Finchcocks from My 9th - 11th. We hope that new Friends will come and join the party - please see the Finchcocks Page for further details. There are still plenty of places, so please say you can come.
Souvenir Mug Offer
A generous sponsorship offer has once again enabled us to commission a limited edition of souvenir mugs to comemmorate the Finchcocks Weekend. As this year will be the occasion for Martyna Kazmierczak's presentation for the Clementi Award, and we will be privileged to have Christopher Clementi with us, this year's mug will feature the great Muzio Clementi.
There will be no charge for these mugs, but to give me time to order the correct number, they will just be given to all Friends who have confirmed attendance (and preferably paid!) by Monday April 13th.
Please see the Finchcocks page for arrangements for booking and paying. It will still be possible to reserve a place after this, but the mug order will already be in hand by then.
Broadwood 1838 For Sale
This fine-looking Broadwood square is now offered for sale.
Please see the Pianos For Sale page for details.
Piano Auctions April Sale
Change of Plan
Change of Plan - No Meeting of FoSP
The Hodsdon Spinet will be at Piano Auctions' sale on Thursday 16th April, but sadly there are no square pianos this time. As by then it won't be long until our Finchcocks Weekend, and I have a lot to do for that, I've decided to give this one a miss.
Hoping there will be lots of square pianos in the June sale, and I look forward to our usual meeting then.
Piano Makers in Victorian England -
by Dr Marie Kent
Dr Marie Kent is our favourite Piano Historian. She is seen in the above picture giving a presentation about London Piano Makers in Prison (!)
At Finchcocks this year, she will be talking about the wills of the old makers, and the story that these documents tell. But in the meantime, she has recently published in the Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle a fascinating article about the 6,500 or so piano makers active in Mid-Victorian England. Possibly a bit 'after our time' (I think the last English square was made by Collard & Collard about 1872) but many of the names will be familiar.
It may be downloaded http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/eGTquIgdnFGA2ZNM6SGY/full and the first copies will be free!
Thank you, Marie, and we look forward to seeing you again in May.
Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions
The Christopher Hogwood Collection
The sale on Thursday 12th March was well-attended, and a great success, with all the instruments sold for good prices. In most cases these were close to, or a somewhat above, estimates. The only square piano, the 1773 Pohlman seen above, sold for £4,400 against an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000. The star lot of the sale was the famous 1761 Hass clavichord, which achieved more than double the top estimate to be sold for £82.000. Is this a record for recent sales?
The full results may be seen on-line at http://gardinerhoulgate.co.uk
We all love those beautiful English Spinets, and now they have a Page of their own, where I hope to encourage interest, ownership, and amateur makers.
Please take time to visit our sister website www.squarepianotech.com This is run by our Friend Tom Strange in America, and is rapidly growing into a treasure-store of permanent wisdom.
About the 'Webmaster' (David Hackett)
My only claim to respectability is that Carl Dolmetsch once offered to take me on as an apprentice. This was in 1962, when I had just shown him my first clavichord, and been his guest at Haslemere. However, he also advised me that it would be better to go to University, and I accepted his advice. Early Keyboard Instruments have therefore remained a hobby, and now happily retired, I am able to spend a bit more time enjoying them - and encouraging others, I hope..
My real work is with homeless cats now, though - I have the privilege to be Co-ordinator of the local voluntary branch of Cats Protection.