Brentwood School marks prestigious Steinway status with impressive 11-piano recital
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 November 2019
A unique 11-piano ensemble marked Steinway Day as Brentwood School celebrated officially joining the select handful of UK accredited Steinway Schools.
Brentwood School hosted a special lunchtime concert with the delivery of four hand-picked Steinway grand pianos and seven upright pianos.
Guests were moved to tears by the talent on display and the beautiful arrangement of the multi-instrument finale.
Brentwood's partnership with Steinway & Sons, a brand associated only with the best music departments in the country, makes the Essex school as one of only 13 other Steinway Schools in England.
The pianos had been hand-picked by the director of music, Florian Cooper, and five of the youngest music scholars during a trip to the Steinway factory in Hamburg.
Mr Cooper wrote the moving 11-piano arrangement of the School Song which was laced with a Les Miserables classic.
Headmaster Michael Bond said: "Whilst we feel privileged to be joining this group of Steinway Schools, I think we can say without any hint of exaggeration or conceit that the quality of our music teachers and the students who work within it is such that we believe we will enhance that list of schools.
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"In fact, the discussions I've been having recently with Mr Cooper have been about what it will take for us to claim with equal certainty that we have the best Music Department in the country - a big and audacious goal perhaps, but one towards which developments such as this one allow us to work."
Also in attendance was former pupil, governor, and chairman of the Royal College of Music, Lord Black of Brentwood.
He said: "It is fantastic that Brentwood School is making such an amazing investment in the future of music.
"The school already has an excellent reputation for music - and this inspiring initiative will build on that even further to the benefit of this and future generations of pupils."
Notable musicians at the concert included Matthew Jorysz, assistant organist at Westminster Abbey Matt Lewis, a multi-award winning trombonist, and former Brentwood School directors of music, David Pickthall MBE, Hilary Khoo.
They were joined by music teacher Oliver El-Holiby and fellow school organist Sam Barber.
Mr Bond added: "We are putting together a long-term vision and strategy for music and the performing arts that I think will put us right up there with the best in the country, and hopefully beyond.
"The future is incredibly bright."