Virtuoso Devastated After Movers Drop, Ruin Her One-Of-A-Kind $194,000 Piano

A piano is an extension of a musician's heart and soul.

For a celebrated musician to suddenly lose such a prized and extremely valuable instrument can be tantamount to losing a limb.

That is the scope of the devastation that befell Canadian concert pianist, Angela Hewitt.

Movers accidentally smashed Hewitt's Fazioli concert grand piano while taking it out of a recording studio.

The one-of-a-kind piano was valued to be $194,000.

CNN reported that Hewitt received the horrific news just as she completed a recording of Beethoven's piano variations in Berlin.

Ten days went by as the virtuoso processed what "has been such a shock to me that I didn't immediately want to share it with the world."

She finally wrote a post on Facebook to share her "very sad piece of news."

Hewitt went from a feeling of exhilaration to one of despair when she heard from the movers.

"At the end of my most recent CD recording sessions (Beethoven Variations in Berlin), when I was so happy with the results and feeling elated, the piano movers came into the control room (where I was finishing up with my producer) to say they had dropped my precious Fazioli concert grand piano."
"My very own that I have used for all of my CD recordings done in Europe since 2003 (and of course for many concerts). I couldn't believe it."
"Well yes, it happened, and unfortunately the piano, now that it has been inspected by Ing. Fazioli and his staff, is not salvageable."
"The iron frame is broken, as well as much else in the structure and action (not to mention the lid and other parts of the case).

Hewitt is best known for recording the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, which she began in 1994 and finished in 2005.

Many of her accomplishments include being named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on June 17, 2006 and having the distinction for being the first ever recipient of the BBC Radio 3 Listener's Award (Royal Philharmonic Society Awards) in 2003.

In her post, Hewitt added that it would not make financial or artistic sense to "rebuild this piano from scratch."

As far as she was concerned, the unsalvageable piano was "kaputt."

And yet, in her moment of melancholy, she remained sympathetic towards the movers.

"The movers of course were mortified. In 35 years of doing their job, this had never happened before. At least nobody was hurt."

Losing the grand piano was all the more devastating because of its sentimental value.

"I adored this piano. It was my best friend, best companion. I loved how it felt when I was recording--giving me the possibility to do anything I wanted."

Those who understood her sense of grief expressed their condolences.

She said her F278 Fazioli was the only model in the world with a 4-pedal mechanism typically reserved for the F308 model.

"And it only recently had new hammers and strings put on it. You will hear on the Beethoven Variations CD (when it comes out in November, I hope) that it was in top form. Now it is no longer."
"For my festival this summer in Umbria, of course we will still have Faziolis--that goes without saying. And at least I have no recording scheduled in the next few months."

You can hear one of her recent recordings featuring the music of Claude Debussy played on her beloved F278 Fazioli here.

The impact of her loss continues with "all the insurance saga."

"I can choose a new one in Sacile when Mr. Fazioli has three of them ready for me."
"But what with his production schedule, and my touring around the world, this will take some months, I imagine."

Simon Markson, managing director at Markson Pianos in London, told CNN that an accident like this "doesn't happen very often" and also vouched for the $194,000 estimated value.

"It's an expensive piano. It's going to appeal to someone high level."
"There are six or seven top companies making good quality pianos. Different pianos appeal to different people according to tone and touch. The Fazioli is good for Bach."

Hewitt ended her piano eulogy with:

"I hope my piano will be happy in piano heaven."

Considering how much joy it brought to Hewitt and the world, her beloved F278 Fazioli is undoubtedly among the angels.

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