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A Grand Piano on Table Mountain



Written by Theolin Tembo

GRAND VIEW: Durban artist Shannon Hope playing on a handcrafted Shigeru Kawai grand piano on Table Mountain on International Piano Day. Fifteen top pianists performed in a free concert.

For International Piano Day, Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos placed a handcrafted Shigeru Kawai grand piano on Table Mountain from 10am to 4pm where a variety of pianists were able to perform at will throughout the day.

Artists such as Charl du Plessis, Elna van der Merwe and Rocco de Villiers played the piano in a location where no one has ever played a piano before.

The non-profit event was staged also to raise awareness that the piano is still very much alive and, despite the belief that it is an exclusive instrument, there is huge musical potential for pianists in South Africa which is not being reached owing to the lack of appropriate resources.

“Today is International Piano Day and we were approached by Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos to look at celebrating this instrument, so we worked closely with them to have a grand piano transported to the top of Table Mountain,” said Collette van Aswegen, marketing manager of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company.

“There had been a previous attempt made, but the weather wasn’t playing along, so today is a first and it is absolutely special and spectacular to come across a piano on top of the mountain.

“It’s also the week running up to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and we thought entertainment on top of the mountain was certainly extraordinary and visitors would enjoy it.”

This event was also the start of a project, “Music into Africa”, that Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos will be launching to help underprivileged schools with no instruments or very poor instruments and grow music in Africa.
South African. Kawai Pianist. Vocal Artist. TEDx Speaker. Copywriter. Gamer. LEGO nut. Organised chaos controller. WordPress designer. Pro scuba diver and occasional mermaid.

Currently on a break from fulltime touring, Shannon Hope is utilising her other talents in digital creative spaces… but there will be another studio album, and some exclusive performances every now and then. It’s not over. It’s just different.
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