The Berlin Philharmonic are to auction off one of their pianos to raise funds for UNICEF’s emergency relief for children in East Africa.
The 1992 Steinway concert grand has done sterling service over the years. These were the ivories Alfred Brendel chose to tickle every time he appeared at the Philharmonie, and he will attend the auction. Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Radu Lupu, Evgeny Kissin, Murray Perahia, Menahem Pressler and Lars Vogt are some of the other pianists who have played it. Needless to say, it has been maintained in top condition.
The auction takes place in the Philharmonie concert hall on 28 May, and will be streamed live on the Digital Concert Hall service.
If you're thinking of putting in a bid, deep pockets are required; serious bidding can be expected to start at €50,000+, and I wouldn't be surprised if it raised €100,000 or more (the starting price of a new instrument).