Horror: Famed pianist sees her favourite piano smashed to pieces

Horror: Famed pianist sees her favourite piano smashed to pieces


norman lebrecht

February 09, 2020

The Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt has suffered the awful loss of a precious instrument.

She writes:

I feel ready now to share a very sad piece of news. It happened ten days ago, and has been such a shock to me that I didn’t immediately want to share it with the world. For the moment I will just write this, and not comment further. 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). It makes no sense, financially or artistically, to rebuild this piano from scratch. It’s kaputt. The movers of course were mortified. In 35 years of doing their job, this had never happened before. At least nobody was hurt.

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. It was also the only F278 Fazioli in the world to have the 4-pedal mechanism (normally 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. But now there is all the insurance saga (hopefully this won’t take long), and then 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.

You can hear this piano on my most recent recording–the Six Partitas of Bach (BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month, by the way), but also on so many others. One of my favourites for the sheer quality of sound and colour from my Fazioli is the Debussy CD, of which you can hear extracts here. I hope my piano will be happy in piano heaven…..


  • The loss of a cherished instrument is a devastation in itself. A instrument that cannot be replaced is beyond consolation.

    • Marc says:

      So many great instruments in the world, better instruments than Fazioli, which is a mediocre brand.

      • Sashimi says:

        The arogance AND ignorance in the comment! It’s like if I told Hilary Hahn to drop and smash the “mediocre” Vuillaumme so she can get the superior Stradivari or Guarneri. Not every instrument from a glorified manufacturer is superior to what you perceive to be an average “cr*p”.

        • Marc says:

          What would you know about grand piano’s? There are no “Stradivari” grand piano’s, actually piano’s from that era are inferior. And unlike these masterpieces modern grand piano’s can be build and rebuild.

        • Nance van Dijke says:

          You can’t compare the two. An old pianoforte has half the quality of a modern day grand piano, as opposed to modern violins. It’s not arrogance, just a plain fact. And indeed Fazioli is only admired by a handful of professional pianist, most prefer other brands.

          • Paul Carlile says:

            Perfectly normal; one is mass-produced and promoted by an international marketing campaign (not to say pressure group), the other is individually hand-built in limited quantity, (in fact, demand outstrips supply!) with no marketing campaign or pressure on artists at all.

        • Joost says:

          A totally false analogy, Mr. “Sashimi”. Try to think before you write nonsense. Fazioli can build such an instrument anyday anytime, or restore the old one. It was a matter of money that they decided rather buy a new one, than restore this one, which would have cost the same or more.

          • Paul Carlile says:

            I think, Mr Joost, that Sashimi was making an analogy of the status of “names” (brands?) as against human emotion, preference, etc….rather than literally the value/cost, etc, of reparing.

            A piano is not comparable to any classic stringed instrument..(violin, cello, etc) in that too many moving parts and materials (wood, iron, felt, leather…) are involved, therefore restoration would not be an option in this case.

        • Coach2000 says:

          I am a pianist in a major opera house. I hate playing on Fazioli. I’d rather play on a cheap Yamaha than on a Fazioli… To this day no-piano can surpass a Steinway & Sons or a Bösendorfer.

          • Nance van Dijke says:

            Of course. But most of those visiting slipped disc are art farts. Can’t play more than Für Elise, but lots of grand opinions. Fazioli is crap, mediocre, at best….

          • Nick says:

            Weeeeell, not really every Fazioli is “crap”. Like in any family, there are great children and mediocre. Happens to all brand names, Steinway included. I’ve played on mediocre Steinways and Bechsteins too and was lucky to play a great Blüthner for example.

          • Norman Schwartz says:

            I’d prefer playing that instrument which was most familiar to me. I’d have learned its unique qualities, enabling me to produce the exact sound I desired. No substitutes please, regardless of its make or cost, etc., etc..

            Imagine Horowitz’s piano having been destroyed (even though Steinway had others ready to provide). Glenn Gould would have not tolerated his chair being destroyed, no less his piano.

          • J. F. Drexel says:

            Glenn Gould’s beloved piano, Steinway CD 318, was dropped at some point while it was in transit between Toronto and Cleveland in 1971. The cast-iron core was cracked. Gould was distraught. Over the next decade, his trusted technician/tuner, Verne Edquist, did all he could to restore the piano to something approaching its earlier Gouldian perfection, with mixed results.

            Most critics disliked the sound of that piano even long before its accident, but Gould adored it because its light, responsive keyboard action perfectly suited his technique and its sound was the sound that he wanted. It might not have been anyone else’s favorite piano, but it was Gould’s–just as, for her own reasons, Angela Hewitt’s Fazioli is her favorite piano.

          • Malcolm Kottler says:

            Several have mentioned Gould’s Steinway. There is a whole book about Gould and his pianos, which includes the story of the Steinway that was dropped.

            The book is A Romance on Three Legs. Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano, by Katie Hafner (published by Bloomsbury in 2008)

          • J B says:

            Absolutely agree

          • Sarah says:

            Fine! Don’t play them but then don’t put down the wonderful Angela Hewitt in the same breath, just because she plays a piano, IYO, is inferior! So you are a repetiteur in a major opera house; she has had a fine solo career and justifiably so.

          • Nick says:

            Not quite sure about your categorical statement on Hewitt, Sarah! There are other opinions too. “Wonderful”? I have yet to hear “wonders” from Hewitt. Decent – the word I would use.

          • Paul Carlile says:

            Well, in past years i could have said similar, but with change of names; a Yamahaha is very easy and disguises many faults, a Fazioli- my opinion, is more challenging but infinitely more rewarding.
            But stay with what you’re used to!

          • John says:

            Finally someone who actually knows what he’s talking about. Fazioli has great PR, not great instruments.

          • Paul Carlile says:

            Fazioli does no PR! Pianists who like it queue up, as the production quantity is limited deliberately to maintain high standards. Your comments are slick…and ignorant.

      • Christopher Clift says:

        There’s always someone like you ‘Marc’, ready to offer their opinion about an instrument or performer, and I (and no doubt many others here) who would love to get you to justify your opinion – personal experience of playing perhaps, or of someone very close to you who has such an instrument? Do elucidate the basis for your (obviously) very superior experience to support your remark.

        • Joost says:

          There’s always someone like you “Christopher Clift”, ready to offer their criticism without any experience or knowledge. Do elucidate the basis for your (obviously) very superior experience to support your remark.

          • Christopher Clift says:

            Joost – a mere 40 years as a performer at a pretty decent level, playing with many top-line artists (Jessye Norman, Dame Janet Baker, Pavarotti, Igor Oistrakh, to name a few) and working with a great many top line conductors among them Christoph von Dohnanyi, Walter Weller, Sir Alexander Gibson, Sir Simon Rattle Susskind, Gary Bertini et al. That’s part of my pedigree – what’s yours?

      • Bruce says:

        “Your opinion is only an opinion. My opinion is the truth.”

        — arrogant dickheads everywhere

        • Una says:

          One way of putting it, ha, ha! Certainly plenty of bogus critics full of arrogance and total disrespect for those actually doing the job. Most of them couldn’t play Three Blind Mouse on any piano! Yes, total dickheads! LOL!

      • SVM says:

        Marc’s characterisation is misinformed. I have played on Fazioli concert grands only a few times, but those times have been very special experiences. As a result, I am inclined to think that Fazioli is an excellent “brand”. It is my understanding that they make a relatively small number of instruments (this may explain why the “brand” is less famous than some of the big names), but that they take quality very seriously.

      • D says:

        My, you’re a comfort.

      • Hot Lips says:

        If ignorance is bliss, you must be a very happy man. It’s the individual instrument that’s at issue, not the brand-name. How would you like to have one of your kids destroyed, and get a “better” one and a lot of money?

      • Joost says:

        Indeed most Fazioli’s have an awful tone. Can’t understand this pianist, just start to look for a better instrument.

        • Bert the Putter says:

          There’s an old joanna down the pub. It’s nearly
          a whole tone flat and some of the notes don’t work, but it should he right up your street. We love to have a good old singsong around it after a few pints

        • Paul Carlile says:

          Poor Mr Joos’t, (is hi’s firs’t name mar’c?’), cant under’stand muc’h at all, not jus’t “thi’s pianis’t.”
          A pos’t-tro’phily yaws’
          Beas’t rearguard’s

      • Una says:

        You are obviously an expert and a concert pianist on a par with Angela Hewitt to make such judgement! You don’t like Fazioli’s pianos, then the answer is simple – play a different make!

      • Mari Anne says:

        Marc – you’d have work very hard, just to reach mediocre!

      • jp says:

        What matters is not what you think about her Fazioli, but what she thinks about her Fazioli.

      • Alexander More says:

        Steinway have been known to turn out the odd turkey. But (as a consumer rather than a producer of music) I have been underwhelmed by the Faziolis I have heard to date. (The one in St James Piccadilly is horrid.)

        • Paul Carlile says:

          Well ive heard certain pianists make horrid noises on the Faz of St Jams Piccalilli, just as i have on the Steinways of the Wigbore on on Yamahahas anywhere, but it’s not “horrid” with a fine pianist! In fact it’s probably the best of the London church pianos!

      • george stimpson says:

        Not an appropriate comment! You might understand if someday (hopefully not) when a loved one dies, you hear “Well she was a Trumpian idiot”.

      • Paul Carlile says:

        To refer to a “brand” – places your comment, and mentality in its miserable context.

      • Anon says:

        Where’s the humanity in a comment like this? Someone has lost a beloved piano, that is her life’s work. Far too many loser comments from loser contributors on this site…

  • Brettermeier says:

    Sorry for your loss. 🙁

  • Marc says:

    Your best friend? Do get a life, Angela.

    • Deborah Jeans says:

      Grow up, you insensitive bastard !!!

    • Jessica says:

      Have you ever loved or liked anybody or anything? If not, you have never lived.

    • T____T says:

      You prick, if you’ve played the same instrument for years you will grow attached to it, it’s like losing someone in fact I would be more devastated if my instrument broke than if for example a family member fell out with me, pick up an instrument and play it, then you will see, if you already play an instrument then get into a better mindset or you’ll be a shit musician

    • Christy says:

      Traveling around the world doing something you love and gives enjoyment to people who are in awe of you, sounds like a pretty rich life. The piano she adored was something she could count on to best showcase her talents and made her feel confident, whole and happy. It held the memories of the music she created and all the special moments that entailed. Musicians are a special breed. What makes your life so great that she should strive for that instead ? Go find a best friend as arrogant as you and you can fulfill yourselves with deragatory comments about artists and others that annoy you.

    • Anon says:

      Marc, who are you? Why not spit your poison elsewhere and leave this site to those who want to elevate the human spirit instead of emotional pygmies like yourself, who do the opposite? Why don’t YOU get a life and drop the loser stuff?

  • Nance van Dijke says:

    There are so many brilliant instruments out there, you’ll find many others to play and love. I’m sure!

  • Joost says:

    A tragedy is when your loved one is terminally ill or dies. When your children starve of hunger. Not when you have to record your next CD an another grand piano.

    • Brettermeier says:

      “A tragedy is when your loved one is terminally ill or dies.”

      Think BIG, man! How can anything below the destruction of the universe be a tragedy??

      (And this is why I hate people.)

  • Andrew Marks says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. Grotrian and Fazoli are my favorite pianos and the only other alternative is Ravenscroft. Please take a trip to Scottsdale and see for yourself.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Geez, and I thought having to lug around a double bass, contrabassoon, or tuba was a hassle. Imagine having to travel with a piano!

  • Riijord says:

    For those of you who are critical, it is obvious you are not musicians and I would further say: consider your favorite pair of shoes or car…

    • John says:

      Well, I AM a musicians, but if I’d consider my favorite pair of shoes or a car, I’d go: “Oh well, as long as the insurance pays”. I wonder whether you people have any idea of real human tragedy. Because this ain’t it.

  • Tausendsassa says:

    This is really terrible. Angela, I understand your deep sense of loss at the destruction of a unique and precious instrument. Please ignore the abjectly stupid comments from the trolls, who simply have no clue.

  • Mark says:

    An artist has a special connection with their chosen media, not unlike a painter who always uses a particular canvas from a particular maker. A musician’s instrument can be, to the artist, an extension of their body, of themselves. Hopeful that you find another instrument that you connect with, and can fully express your artistic essence.

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    I am so sorry about your loss, I imagine it’s like losing a lover after so many years together

    • John Borstlap says:

      Some pianists are so closely involved with their instrument that they sleep in it, sometimes together with someone else if that other person is either much smaller or much bigger, given the form of the frame.

  • Amy says:

    I read this the day after my sister lost her child to influenza in Texas. What I wouldn’t give to change her tragedy to this “tragedy”
    Absolutely ridiculous

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Tragedies like your sister’s put problems in perspective. Your sister and your family are in my prayers.

    • Larry D says:

      Okay, you’re suffering the most, you win, your trophy is in the mail. We’re all obligated to you for putting things in perspective, even if you have nothing to do with the subject of classical music, or anything but your snideness to add.

      • Nance van Dijke says:

        Because you Larry D., are actually a top musician? Don’t think so. Another art fart.

      • John says:

        Only one being snide is you, “Larry”. Someone is speaking of real loss and hardship as opposed to “Oh, I’ll have to play another marvellous instrument now!”.

    • Nance van Dijke says:

      At last a sensible remark. These hysteric art farts are clueless. Not even musicians, by the look of it.

    • irkling says:

      There’s no need to compare the two. Your family’s tragedy doesn’t detract from Ms. Hewitt’s, nor hers from yours. Your grief does not make hers ridiculous. There’s room for both.

      My condolences to you for the death of your sister’s child, and to Ms. Hewitt for the destruction of an instrument she considered an extension of herself. The truth is that neither can be replaced.

    • John says:

      You are so right, Amy. This pianist doesn’t even know what real tragedy is.

    • Luke says:

      The word tragedy is not in this article. She lays it out as “sad piece of news”. I’m sure she was aware that others she doesn’t know around the world have had experiences that are more “sad” than hers. There’s enough sadness to go around and we don’t need to call people ridiculous who want to notify others (her fans ?) about it or have an emotional release.

    • Bruce says:

      It’s not a competition.

    • Hmus says:

      Angela Hewitt DID NOT USE THE WORD TRAGEDY. You are responding the the exaggerations of trolls here.

    • Verbum says:

      Yours – Amy – is the first and possibly the only significant comment in this list. Although I don’t know you, I feel your pain sympathize. Comparing the loss of an instrument to the loss of a child is horrible.

    • Anonymous says:

      The pain of the loss of a relative is understandable, but directing that pain at Angela Hewitt is unwarranted. As others have noted, she never uses the word tragedy, is gracious to the movers by noting that they had never made such a mistake before, expresses her gratitude that no human being was harmed, and shows a sense of proportion by saying she hopes her piano is in piano heaven. Angela Hewitt is over sixty and likely knows what is is like to lose a loved one. Since the loss of her piano, unlike the loss of a relative, is a matter of interest to the public who enjoy her music, she is correct to report it publicly, and it would be silly if she pretended to be happy about it. I would imagine the loss of such a piano to performer is comparable to the loss of a home for the rest of us. Your grief is understandable, but it isn’t appropriate to mock Angela Hewitt for being self-absorbed when she hasn’t been .

  • Couperin says:

    All things are relative. Nobody, including the great Angela, is saying this compares to the loss of a family member or a human child.

    That said, as a percussionist I would’ve loved to hear what this accident sounded like.

  • MusicBear88 says:

    I am not a world-class pianist like Ms. Hewitt, so I don’t get to bring my Steinway D with me when I perform, but I’ve had it in my home for 32 years now and I know that I would be absolutely devastated if anything were to happen to it. Yes, it’s a worldly possession, not a person, but I’ve spent more time with my piano than I have with many people in my life and Ms. Hewitt has undoubtedly spent many more hours than I have. Your instrument becomes an extension of yourself, becomes part of your voice, and while money can buy a new instrument, it’s never quite the same.

  • Costa Pilavachi says:

    So sorry dear Angela…it was painful to read your tale. Hope your new one gives you lots of pleasure- it will be different as they all are….

  • Howard Dyck says:

    This is really tragic news! One can only hope Fazioli can come up with a satisfactory replacement.

  • Wagner Gitirana says:

    That’s why is important to have a good insurance company behind. Sorry for this big loss, it’s unfortunate. The bright side is that nobody’s hurt.

  • Derek R says:

    A piano is someone’s best friend and companion. ‍♂️ I imagine you had money for it years ago and so you must have more now than then. Not saying non living things can’t hold sentimental value but at the end of the day it’s wood and metal. To grief too much over it is exactly where American culture is. It’s a piano not a child nor a lover, and definitely not a companion. She should have just wrote: “well this really sucks a moving company dropped my piano that was insured anyway so I’ll be fine. Oh well beautiful life still goes on.” Not a story as if she’s lost the best lover in her life

    • Joost says:

      A piano is not a friend and a great pianist can play most high quality instruments. She’s such a drama queen.

    • John says:

      She’s living in a materialistic bubble, no doubt.

    • Pacer1 says:

      Ummm…. you’re not a musician, are you? And, she is Canadian, not American.

    • Larry D says:

      Yeah, I’m sure she’ll hire you as her agent so you can continue to teach her condescending life lessons.

    • Bruce says:

      “Not a story as if she’s lost the best lover in her life”

      How much do you know about her life?

    • Rj says:

      Says you…you didn’t live with or touch and feel those piano keys or listen to or feel that piano sing to you or feel the sensation of the life and love flowing thru you while you were playing that Instrument. No one commenting here really knows.

    • Paul styper says:

      What an utter moronic post. You’re a total philistine who knows nothing about the manufacture of musical instruments. You obviously think they roll off the production line just like other consumer item.

  • George says:

    Imagine walking on the street and have Angela Hewitt’s F278 fall on your head.

    What an honorable death.

    • John Borstlap says:

      I had an aunt who was crazy about piano music and went to every recital she could lay her hands on. She was a fanatic, the ushers of the Wigmore Hall had to carry her out after concerts since she wanted to deamily reflect on the program afterwards in her seat. But it came to haunt her: when walking her dog in Belgrave Square, an old Bösendorfer grand which was moved from a third floor fell down on her and flattened her and her dog to pieces. According to the police report, the sound carried three streets far, due to Bösendorfer’s careful repetition mechanics.


  • Pauline Allen says:

    I aspire to owning a grand piano one day. Whilst the loss of your piano is not nice, it’s one of those things which you have to put into perspective. No lives lost, much suffering in the world. However, you still have this wonderful gift and ability to give real pleasure to others for which we are grateful.

  • Jean Donati says:

    The Donati family is so sorry- what a loss for you and your countless admirers. May your new piano come quickly and be a pleasant surprise. Best wishes, Jean et al

  • Andrew Condon says:

    We don’t know what actually happened. Presumably the piano movers were a company of some repute. At Miss Hewitt’s level she wouldn’t use anyone but the very best in the business – so it was probably a very unfortunate accident. Perhaps there was a technical malfunction in the lifting equipment. Whatever happened, this is a serious loss for a highly esteemed artist and her present anguish will not be helped by some of the comments above which strike me as being somewhat churlish to say the least. She deserves far better

  • CScott says:

    Sorry for your loss….. And yes, animate objects can be a dear best friend to many a person. They don’t argue with you, they serve your needs, and they are always there when you need them. The memories they provide are always in your heart. So back off, insensitive asses…….

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Dear Angela, I understand this. Having this bond with an instrument is different from a person, a pet, and the like. There is no reason to compare, of course. It is all relative. However, an instrument becomes our means of communication, our voice, our heart, and everything about us filtered through that instrument to communicate who we are through the music and that instrument. To lose that instrument must feel as if you have lost your voice, even a friend, who is there to allow you to work through it to communicate who you are and the music. Many people view the instrument as an inanimate object. But it is very much a living and breathing thing, changing from day to day based on weather, environment, and, as we change from day to day, the sound we create with that instrument also changes. This may not make sense to many, but it is a remarkable thing indeed. I feel for you, Angela, but you must know, that the time you had with that instrument has enabled you to become a finer musician, pianist and communicator. And, that you were able to preserve that instrument’s qualities in recordings is a beautiful thing. It gave you a voice, and you gave it a voice as well.

    • Barbara says:

      Stuff and nonsense, a myth permeated by musicians who need to create a story, when all they need to do is practise to get the right sound out if any piano.

  • Dijon says:

    What great PR Ms Hewitt ! and what stuff and nonsense about one piano letting you play any way you want. If you were a better pianist you could make any piano play how you want….

  • Richard Ericson says:

    Cancer causes irreparable damage, broken piano is sad but can be replaced.

  • Asha Keys says:

    That’s terrible. But moving a huge piano is always perilous. It’s better to build a recording studio round it in your own house. The technology costs no more than a very good piano

  • Mr, Schwa says:

    Did the piano movers do this on purpose? Perhaps they disliked your latest recording: but it is still uncalled for. My sympathies.

  • john says:

    It appears that many people posting today fell out of the wrong side of their lives!

    As a violin maker, I can attest to the bond formed between a player and their instrument.
    Condolences to the player, shame on most of you, and as a maker of fine instruments I have every faith that Maestro Fazoli and staff will be able to craft your next musical partner.

    • Dijon says:

      Violins are completely different as you only have one that you take with you everywhere. Pianists have to play ANY instrument that a venue has, so if they are any good they quickly learn to adapt to it and get the best sound from it they can. Perhaps Ms Hewitt is not able to do that very well and so has to use the same piano all the time. ….

      • Gwynedd says:

        True about pianos for the most part. (Unless you can ship yours to a recording session as Ms Hewitt did.) I feel for pianists, who get whatever instrument is at the concert hall, sometimes it’s not well regulated. What can you do? Of course I know guitarists now who come from one end of the world and end up borrowing an instrument; travel on airplanes is fraught with difficulties And famous Mali kora player Sissoko just had his instrument destroyed by TSA with a sassy little note, to boot. He literally has to go back to war-torn Mali to get a new one.

        • Barbara says:

          Actually it’s true about pianos completely… pianists (if they are any good) spend hours before a concert at the venue, not for last minute polishing of pieces, which would be daft, but to master the vagueries of whatever instrument they are presented with…

  • Sharon Christian says:

    Unbelievable for this to happen!! So very sorry to hear of this. Hopefully there will be a way to recover from all that has gone sadly wrong. We are looking forward to your new CD and wonderful performances.

  • ia says:

    er, I can play “chopsticks”, well, some of it,… nearly.

  • Spence Tepper says:

    The sound from the sample Debussy recording above is amazingly bright, and still layered. I can understand how some, who are not used to it, might prefer other pianos, broader, less distinct, and darker. But I must wonder how they achieved such a bright sound, one that leads the deeper harmonics in such a fine tone. This was a unique instrument, and in the hands of an artist who could bring her Fazioli to its heights.

  • Tim says:

    Poor Ms. Hewitt. It is rather interesting that her fellow Canadian and Bach enthusiast Glenn Gould also suffered a loss of a favorite instrument (CD 318) to a moving accident. As I understand it, Gould was devastated and never found a suitable replacement despite all the Steinways out there. Given the much smaller production of Fazioli, it may indeed be awhile before Hewitt finds another “friend”.

  • Dave says:

    A piano such as the one you grew up with, with it being able to help insignify your stardom and expertise , is of course now just a memory to you. Your baby has died. And time to move on to a higher level of piano instrument.
    Probably a test to your personal grandeur of musical acceleration of even more lovelier sound than your used to.
    But remember dear one, the piano was only a “thing” that helped accentuate your talent. Allow in your heart of hearts that it can be replaced ,unlike a person or puppy dog especially dear to you.
    I’ve never heard you play, but you must be fantastic. Cheers

  • Stephen Lawrence says:

    Detractors of Fazioli pianos ( and I guess these may all be quite Individual given the small number built) 32Are effectively saying that Ms. Hewitt could Get better results by using a a more conventional piano brand…? Or maybe, Fazioli takes some getting used to, so to the initiated they can be very special, to others, frustrating. The subject of the discussion seems interesting – the way the discussion Is panning out seems profoundly depressing…

  • Pearl says:

    Even for a less talented person, such an occurance is heartbreaking.

  • RobMcTenor says:

    The compassion shown here reminds me why I should never read the comments! I’m so saddened by her loss. This totally sucks. If you don’t understand why it sucks for her, then you don’t truly understand musicians and the art form you act like you love. She has a right to be devastated by this event.

    • Barbara says:

      Yes it’s unfortunate but all this outpouring of sentimental guff is ridiculous for a professional musician who will have played 100s of pianos in her career. Don’t worry she’ll get over it and Fazioli will give her another one to advertise!

      • Master Jacques says:

        Barbara, it seems to me the “sentimental guff” is coming from the people spewing out penny-in-the-slot lines, claiming that losing a piano is nothing, compared against losing a little child, having cancer or any of those other, very familiar universal sadnesses. People like these pride themselves on their sensitivity to others – and contradict themselves by their cruel stupidity (and lack of human insight) in sneering at Ms Hewitt’s genuine loss. Social media stinks, as ever.

        • Barbara says:

          It’s a piano…get over it, she certainly will! Furthermore don’t be so naïve, she is just making a meal of it to advertise her recordings…anyone good at PR could tell you that…her fans will fall for it so that’s ok…and good for her!

          • RobMcTenor says:

            “Sentimental guff”… another term for showing human compassion to an artist who lost their favorite instrument? I guess I’m full of sentimental guff!

  • Giovanni says:

    There is a sort of Canadian pianist’s malediction. Also Glenn Gould had his favorite piano dropped by movers.

    • V.Lind says:

      Marc-André Hamelin, Louis Lortie, Janina Fialkowska, Charles RIchard-Hamelin, Jon Kimura Parker, Stewart Goodyear and Jan Lisiecki, among others, had better watch out!

  • Angela’s love and respect for her Fazioli is clear not only from her comments but also the wonderful results from her recordings and recitals. It’s a good piano and arguably the best from the Fazioli factory. As a pianist (of considerably less acclaim than Angela) I don’t care for the instruments much…I’ve played a couple of the concert grands and many small ones (within UK music conservatoires) and they all lack the tonal resources and subtlety of a fine Steinway or Bösendorfer or Yamaha CFX. The Fazioli (heard in Royal Albert Hall) lacked the necessary carrying power for large spaces. Just my view and not in any way intended to diminish Angela’s sense of loss. Another Canadian pianist (GG) suffered the same grievous loss when his old and cherished Steinway used for virtually all his recordings was dropped by the removers. He subsequently chose a Yamaha for his final recordings.

  • Dave T says:

    Well, at least the last sounds that it made were Beethoven. It is a fitting way to go if one must.
    As for the poor movers, maybe they can get a job with an airline.

  • Helena VonDrakenstein says:

    Isnt it amazing how human beings will always find little ways to argue or to be facetious or insulting even on a little thread like this.And you wonder why the world is a mess.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Amazing how a piano can provoke such flurry of involvement.

    I found the sound in the video peculiarly clear and bright, and the playing of Mrs Hewitt spiky and prim, musically expressive but entirely devoid of atmosphere. These are all early pieces – except the Children’s Corner but which harks back to his earlier style – before Debussy developed his special style of precise blend of mysterious profundity. But also in his early pieces, warmth of tone and some sensual chubbiness is required. This video is more like an X-ray of the music, in spite of, or thanks to, the brilliant playing.

    A good comparison offers this rendering of Clair de Lune:


  • Wilhelm says:

    30 year tuner/tech here…This sounds like a heartbreak of every passionate musician – almost like losing your very fingers and ears. I won’t comment on brand loyalty; every make has its own qualities to suite the artist. (My favorite, Bechstein – pure fundamental bell-tones, good for gentle Berceuse). I’m just wondering how that much damage was done! Broken plate?.. must have broken the frame and rim itself. From high on a lift while loading? I’ve experienced drops, one being a 1904 9’ Knabe with only a broken key frame, stack and cabinet damage. Know of many accidents from dealers, some FUNNY. Maybe that poor Fazioli was dropped from a B-52

  • Mary Wendelken says:

    Meh, they did her a favor. She should get a Steinway

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    Honestly, I don’t see the horror. Yes, it is inconvenient, but the insurance will pay, she will travel to Pordenone, and select a new one. It is not the end of the world.

    This reminds me of the story of a masterclass where a student could not do what the teacher asked. The teacher demostrated what he wanted to his Strad. The student replied “yes, but you have a Strad and I have a box with strings”… the famous teacher took the student’s violin and played beautifully what he meant and said “it is not the violin, is the hands that play the violin”. There are excellent instruments, good instrument, and mediocre instruments, but on the right hands they make great music.

    I play on three instruments: an italian 19th century that I bought when I got my first job in an orchestra (paid it by selling my car – an old Citroen I got from my parents – and my student violin); a modern violin made in France that I use for contemporary repertoire (yes, I will not use my expensive and delicate violin and bow to play your crazy extended techniques, Mr Composer!); and on a c.290 year-old catalogued violin that belongs to the orchestra were I work. All of them are insured and I would not be happy if anything happened to them… but the reality is that if something happened to them, I would just play on another violin and just would get another violin with the money from the insurane. Yes, I’d have to travel ask luthiers, try them out, and have my home-luthier “tune” it to my needs, but it would be neither “a horror”, nor the end of the world. I am pretty sure it also isn’t for AH.

    • Manolo Lamar says:

      Good comment

    • Tausendsassa says:

      Nonsense. The quality of the piano is of enormous importance. The ability to make great music is enhanced immeasurably by a great and responsive instrument; conversely, it can be fatally handicapped by a bad one.

  • boringfileclerk says:

    I’m just glad they didn’t drop a Bechstein. That would be unforgivable.

  • Len says:

    My heart goes out to you. Angela.

  • I need to attach a more sensitive addendum to my earlier comment. I can well understand the affection a pianist can develop for a particular instrument quite apart from the appalling ‘waste’ of a destroyed instrument. I happen not to like Fazioli pianos much, but that’s my problem. As an aside we have owned Sir Clifford Curzon’s magnificent 1965 Steinway Model D for the past thirty years (custodianship perhaps a better expression) – an instrument I have adored the older it and I get. The thought of it sustaining a loss of this kind is unbearable. These things happen alas….

  • Catherine lim says:

    My deepest condolences …. so sorry to hear this tragedy

  • Debbie b says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened. I really enjoy the recordings and you tube videos. And I had the priveledge of meeting Angela Hewitt and hearing her live at a piano 6 concert.There were some magical moments at that concert.

  • Diane says:

    Someone’s got a sense of humour… there’s an advert for a piano removal firm at the top of this article at the moment…!

  • John Marks says:

    Well, that is terrible.

    If Miss Hewitt needs a piano with four pedals in a hurry, perhaps Wayne Stuart can provide her one from his showroom in Australia. All Stuart & Sons pianos have the fourth pedal. Here’s a brief music video I shot of my friend Hyperion Knight giving a Stuart & Sons a real workout.


  • fflambeau says:

    To those who question the piano manufacturer, I have a simple response: A. Hewitt knows more about pianos than you do.

  • Baz says:

    Is it some sort of a curse, put on Bach-loving Canadians, by piano gods? A shame it shared the same fate with G.G.’s CD 318…Watch out, Hamelin!