On 29th August, 2021, our newly refurbished Cambridge showroom hosted its very first in person event since the start of the pandemic. In a sensational kaleidoscope of voicing, styles and precision playing, the Let’s Play The Piano Group came to celebrate a sense of pure joy of all things piano.
If we were forced to describe the event in two words, they would have to be: Truly sensational.
From start to finish, this room was filled with some of the best talents in Cambridge, sitting and chatting alongside those who have only just begun their piano journey, building relationships, friendships and connections that could easily last a lifetime.
Utilising the stunning sound from our in store C.Bechstein B212 concert grand piano, from Classical stylings of Brahms to the likes of Jazz inspired by Duke Ellington, the showroom was graced with serene sound that will be treasured greatly by all those who heard it!
What Is Let’s Play The Piano?
To learn more about what Let’s Play The Piano is, we’d highly recommend reading our focus spotlight on their work, with organiser and founder Ben Richards. Ultimately the goal of the Let’s Play The Piano Groups is to bring together an appreciation for the art of playing the piano.
Due to the nature of the piano and how it is typically practised, many find the instrument to be a rather isolating one, Ben’s goal is to break down this misconception and help people realise there is a whole world of creative, like minded individuals out there who also share a common passion for creativity and piano music.
In short, the Let’s Play The Piano Group help break down these barriers and offer people a safe, supportive and friendly environment where no matter your ability to play, you know you are welcome!
Watch our video with Ben here!
Why do groups like this matter?
Groups like this mean different things to different people, so it’s impossible to pin down why they matter. So instead, we spoke to a few members of the group who graced our showroom to ask why they personally enjoy the group.
Brandon is a university student from Cambridge, studying in Sheffiled, he began learning piano in 2017 as an adult and soon found both a passion an joy for playing. Since then, he recorded his journey and posted it on YouTube, of which almost 7,000,000 people have viewed his journey!
“I like the Let’s Play The Piano groups because they are a great way to form connections and share music with other people who are also passionate about the piano.
Given the piano is largely a solo instrument, it can get a bit lonely sometimes, as there are less opportunities to collaborate. I think the Let’s Play The Piano Groups help bring pianists closer together and help form a community. It’s also a great way to build confidence performing in public, and can be a source of motivation and inspiration."
When in the showroom, Brandon performed Sonata Op.31 No.3 (4th Mov) by L.V.Beethoven at an incredible level.
As soon as Elizaveta stepped towards the piano, it was as though she was at one with the instrument, immense dexterity and precision with every note, her version of Ballade No.1 - by F.Chopin was truly mesmerising to watch.
“The groups are a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, expose yourself to more styles of playing, and what can possibly be better than playing and listening to piano music on the weekend?!
I think the groups offer people a place to practice performance in a friendly atmosphere and learn about new music, every meetup I go to, I have never heard some of the pieces.
In my opinion, I think Art is the ultimate purpose of being. In my mind, I don't understand why someone would make war, when you could spend your life, digesting and creating art. Most people don't even know that this magical Chopin's ballade exists. For me, piano is a door into the dreamy world of art.”
Finally we spoke to Brain, who brought with him a sensational level of flair and charisma, demonstrating that whilst classical music is more than welcome at the piano groups, so too is the like of jazz and bouncy improvisation. Brian played a fantastic Medley of Duke Ellington/Fats Waller tunes that really injected a fantastic buzz into the room.
“Everyone who comes to these groups are a great bunch of people of mixed abilities who are very welcoming and supportive of each other too.
For me, the groups bring like minded musicians together with the chance for all to perform live and play on some of some of the best pianos you could ever play on!
I believe that the piano allows you to be 'a one person' orchestra. It's the bass player, the rhythm section and melody section all rolled into one instrument. It can also be all things too: melancholy, cheerful, soulful, bluesy, boogie, jazzy, country... Whatever you want it to be!”
Bob's set was a fantastic medley of Three pieces from 'An Overgrown Path' - L. Janacek, each bringing with them a unique taste of mystery and mystique that sounded simply divine on the B212!
'I love the Let’s Play Groups because of the excitement of performing at the piano to friends. The music I have specially learnt and polished for the occasion, provides the discipline I need to keep working, alone at the keyboard.
We pianists meet together each month to share our choices of repertoire, the camaraderie and chance for pianistic gossip is really special .
We swap ideas about piano technique and hear new repetoire - "maybe I should try that that Chopin, I didn't know that Faure Bacarolle". And the new Bechstein Grand Piano is the ultimate draw: who has such a fabulous instrument at home!"
Truly magical stuff!
We intend on working incredibly closely with the Let’s Play The Piano group and their organiser Ben Richards, who travels around the country hosting groups across a range of cities. To find out more on the next Let’s Play The Piano event at Millers, click here!
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