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New concert grand piano at Cranleigh Arts Centre

Iyad Sughayer coming to Cranleigh March 24th!

Cranleigh Arts Centre has invested in the future with the purchase of a new hand-crafted Shigeru Kawai concert grand piano. The purchase has been made possible by the generous support through donations by Friends of Cranleigh Arts Centre and other local residents who love the fantastic classical music performances at Cranleigh Arts by international professionals.

For the last 16 years Cranleigh Arts has enjoyed the generosity of Barry Fantoni who had donated his fine 1970’s Kawai baby grand. Barry, who now lives in Italy, was well known as the cartoonist for Private Eye magazine for many years and also an accomplished jazz musician. The piano was introduced to Cranleigh Arts by the late Dr Catherine Pike who was Chairman of Trustees at our community charity though its major development in the late 1990’s.

The new purchase has been guided by professional concert pianists including Ashley Fripp, well known to the Cranleigh audience; Richard Saxel, Director of Music at Cranleigh School who has also performed in the Cranleigh Arts auditorium; and Sacha Grynyuk who represented our international partners in piano performance, The Keyboard Trust. During January, the experts sampled the options available and made their recommendation to Trustees.

A full programme is scheduled for 2020 including on 10 July when BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018, Lauren Zhang, will play Schubert, Liszt and Ravel.

It is planned to celebrate on December 16 2020 the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven with a special concert by Mengyang Pan, a darling of concerts in Cranleigh, who is the professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music.

Commenting on the purchase of the new piano Chairman of Trustees Bob Wild said “The international professional classical concerts at Cranleigh Arts Centre bring something special to our community. Music is a great therapy for the trials of modern life. With this marvellous piano, we will have invested in the long term of brilliant music for Cranleigh and surrounding villages. We deeply thank those who donated and made this possible.”

Additionally, supported by local firm Informed Choice Financial Planning, Cranleigh Arts has inaugurated a successful programme of short lunchtime concerts; providing access to enjoy professional performance in the winter months for those who do not wish to travel after dark. The last of these this winter will be pianist Dominic Degavino at 1300 Tuesday 10 March. There will be another programme of lunchtime concerts from October 2020 to March 2021.

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