Played by some of history’s greatest musicians, Plateau school scrambles to save piano
Published Saturday, December 22, 2012 7:15PM EST
MONTREAL—A musician played the piano for 12 hours at Place-des-Arts on Saturday to help students at l’Ecole le Plateau raise money to repair a special piano played by some of the most famous musicians in history.
“We know that Rachmanioff played on this Horawitz, Glen Gould, Andre Mathieu, Obenstein, Art Tatem. It's a big list,” said pianist Guillaume Martineau.
The Steinway and Sons piano has been in the auditorium of the school for 87 years—the building was once the home of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
The Plateau elementary school has a strong music program and decades of performances on the piano have taken their toll on the school's favorite instrument. Recent estimates have left them with a $50,000 bill for repairs.
"It can play for 100 years," said Montreal Steinway and Sons dealer Andre Bolduc.
While the repairs are expensive, Bolduc said the cost to replace the piano would be over $200,000. All the parts are hand crafted.
“You don't rebuild a Steinway piano without anything other than Steinway parts. It's like a Mercedes you would put very cheap tires on. You don't do that,” said Bolduc.
The school is determined to keep its small piece of Montreal's history. Martineau heard about the school's goal and wanted to help, his reasoning being that music can have a huge benefit for young minds.
“It has a good impact in their brain development and they succeed more in school later on,” said Martineau.
Student Amelie Baland-Captet was thankful for Martineau’s marathon playing, she said that having a refurbished piano in the school’s lobby would be “amazing.”