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The strange case of the European Parliament’s piano

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In early 2009 the Estonian government made a generous gift to the European Parliament of a piano. The idea was that this impressive instrument would be a valuable resource that would enable more musical events to be held, chiefly in the Yehudi Menuhin space – effectively the parliament’s concert hall.
Last night some 300 people witnessed a programme of J.S. Bach in support of the ‘Listen to the Pulse of the Planet’ initiative. It was judged by all to be a great success.
Men bakom kulisserna fanns det problem som hotade att spåra ur evenemanget. Parlamentets tjänstemän hade omdesignat pianot. Det är inte längre ett musikinstrument, det är nu officiellt en möbel och kan som sådan inte flyttas eller användas som piano.
One MEP told EU Reporter “This is absolutely absurd. It is also an insult to the generosity of the Estonian government, and is disrespectful of the memory and legacy of Sir Yehudi himself. Are they mad?”
Fortunately, since the inception of the parliament’s Classical Music Intergroup under the auspices of Estonian MEP Kristiina Ojuland awareness of classical music has risen, and a strong network of devotees has developed. Strings were pulled, and the concert went ahead with a wonderful concert featuring Ukrainian pianist Dmitri Sukhovienko (pictured) to rapturous applause!

 

Anna van Densky

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