Houstoun first up on Steinway at new base

Last updated 08:42 06/11/2012

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Concert pianist Michael Houstoun will give the Marlborough Music Society's Steinway grand piano its first official airing in its new home following its shift to St Andrew's Church in Blenheim tomorrow.

The transfer comes after The Winery Riverlands owners, international wine and spirit company Pernod Ricard, decided to close the restaurant and performance venue on State Highway 1.

The venue has been a regular performance base for the society since 2001 and is where the Steinway had been permanently housed.

An agreement was reached with St Andrew's Church to keep the Steinway there until the planned new Marlborough Civic Theatre is built, at which time the piano's location will be reviewed.

The Steinway was bought by the society in 1952 after it raised £1900 and had it shipped to New Zealand.

It had previously been used at the Royal Albert Hall in London and played by prominent pianists of the day, including Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Michael Houstoun last played the Steinway in July this year when he performed in Blenheim with the Russian violinist Sergey Malov.

Houstoun will give the Steinway its first public performance at St Andrew's on December 18 with J S Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Timaru-born Houstoun studied and performed for several years in the United States and London then made New Zealand his permanent base in 1981.

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- The Marlborough Express

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