Piano Street Magazine

A Piano Spectacular for 80 Fingers – $1.6 Million Worth of Piano on Stage

October 8th, 2010 in Piano News by | 6 comments

After sell-out performances in 2008 at the Melbourne Concert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and QPAC Brisbane, The Steinway Spectacular returns for an extraordinary music event in Sidney today, Friday October 8 2010 at City Recital Hall Angel Place and on Sunday, October 17 at the Melbourne Town Hall.

The eight pianists will work as an ensemble to perform new arrangements of classical favourites, including Ravel’s Bolero, Rhapsody in Blue, Percy Grainger’s Merriment, Pictures at an Exhibition, Handel Medley, the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony and a new 80-finger version of Chopsticks!

Led by conductor and host Guy Noble, renowned musical director and former presenter of ABC Classic FM’s Breakfast show, The Steinway Spectacular is an once-in-a-lifetime musical event.

“It’s a very large affair,” says Noble. “Logistically, it’s a nightmare.”
The piano technician Ara Vartoukian will spend hours tuning the instruments. For past concerts in Melbourne the process sometimes took all night. “The pianos all, in essence, sound the same, so they have to be absolutely in tune with each other.” Even after the most careful tuning, things can go awry.

Conductor Guy Noble said, “This is one of the enjoyable concerts I’ve ever conducted – the sound of eight grand pianos all powering along together is amazing! We have a lot of fun and the audiences whoop for more. Eight pianos playing Ravel’s Bolero makes more noise than an orchestra!”

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  • mark says:



    Beginning with the last comment of the add, I hope this to be very much so,but since piano is a multivoice instrument ,with limited singing capacity its going to be a real chalenge arranging the music of this event.I wish to the arranger , ‘ good luck.’

  • kaarin says:

    Am I being puristic – or am I just getting old? Why on earth does somone feel the need to multiply the beauty of one piano?

  • Sparky says:

    you’re probably just getting old. It’s simply an interesting experiment done for the heck of it. Myself, I’d like to hear what they sound like just for interest’s sake, then I’d move on.
    Nothing to get worked up about.

  • ViDeoDr0me says:

    I think both kaarin & sparky make equally strong points about this excursion. My immediate reaction was: “More is not always better” but on the other hand, I do *want* to find out what it sounds like, just so I can conclusively say if this has any artistic merit, or it’s just another novelty idea to please the masses.

  • GALI says:

    Since the Pianos have the same tone, the aranger will have to really do a great job when harmonizing the parts in order not to sound “clashy” ….

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