Lucy Anderson and Queen Victoria’s Piano

25 June 2012

Following on from our Jubilee musings earlier this month about the Royal Roots of the RPS, this little article from Zee News India caught our eye. Who knew that Queen Victoria was a passable pianist? Or that her teacher was Lucy Anderson – the first woman pianist to play for the Philharmonic Society? Lucy Anderson appeared 19 times between 1822 and 1862, and was the first pianist to play Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Society:

Kolkata June 21, 2012: On World Music Day, music aficionados of the city got a glimpse of the Victorian era masterpiece – the grand pianoforte on which the Queen Victoria honed her skills – after it was put back on display at the Victoria Memorial Thursday.

The instrument, carved out of rosewood and manufactured by noted French piano makers Sebastian and Pierre Erard, was put inside a glass case at the Royal Gallery of the museum after a gap of almost two decades.

One of the most illustrious French piano manufacturers of all time, Sebastian Erard began building superior harpsichords in Paris in the 1700s. His instruments were so renowned that he obtained a license from Louis XVI to produce pianos for the French court. Read more...

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In October 1970, Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto received its world premiere, having been commissioned by the RPS. The soloist was Rostropovich, who received our highest honour, the Gold Medal, the same year.