We know now what caused that grand piano crash

We know now what caused that grand piano crash


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2015

We’ve had a message from Iva Návratová, artistic director at Trossingen, about why this happened 90 minutes before this weekend’s orchestral concert.

collapsed piano

Ida writes:

The rostrum (additional stage) for the piano wasn’t solid enough. Apparently, the stage technicians have not extra strengthened the part of the stage, where the big and heavy Steinway came. One side tilted and of course no one could be able to keep the force of the moving piano….

We actually have not seen how this is happened. When we came, we saw already the result.

Kind regards, Iva

Miraculously, the concert went ahead…


  • Will Duffay says:

    And just as miraculously, nobody was hurt. This is why we have the much (and ignorantly) maligned health & safety.

  • william osborne says:

    Meh. That’s small time stuff. Here’s how you drop a piano:


    All this press, but no word about what orchestra was playing. Was this perhaps the small series the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie based in Konstanz gives in Frickingen? Kontanz has a population of 85,000, but has a full time orchestra.

    (Greetings Iva. Glad to see you’re still having adventures….)

    • Herbert Pauls says:

      And then there were those who worked such capers into actual composition. One was the composer Annea Lockwood who “devoted her energies to destroying pianos”, as Slonimsky hilariously recalled in his autobiography. I have also seen a photo of a Cage piece in action, where several performers were trampling the strings of a large grand piano to bits.

      • william osborne says:

        One can play pianos as they burn, as the video below shows. Interesting effect on the sound as the flames expand, though one needs an asbestos tux…


        • Herbert Pauls says:

          That is quite a tux. One doubts that its equal has ever been seen at the piano, although Kuerti did at least don a gas mask once upon a time.

          In a similar maneuver, Cage once attempted to prepare a piano with lighter fluid.

          • william osborne says:

            Actually, it’s called an Abestux. Ace Hardware sells them right next to their barbecue grills under the motto “Everything A Musician Needs.” They’ve become quite a sensation for musicians playing gigs at grill parities…