Object of the week- Erard piano
Elegant and beautifully crafted, this stunning grand piano has entertained some of Leeds’s most wealthy and historic families.
One of a pair in the drawing room at Lotherton Hall in Aberford, the piano is more than 170 years old and was originally made for the famous Salt family of Saltaire.
The instrument was originally acquired as a piece of furniture before specialists fully restored it to playing condition.
Both pianos now reside in the hall’s drawing room alongside a Erard harp from the 1840s.
Erard instruments were widely considered some of the finest in the world and the generations of aristocratic families who lived at Lotherton, including the Nevilles, de Hothams and the Gascoignes, would have regularly gathered in the drawing room to listen to chamber music recitals.
Today the pianos are still used for special recitals, with performances by young musicians from some of the country’s top schools already performing this summer.
The performances are organised through partnerships with the Royal Northern College of Musicians in Manchester, the University of York and the Worshipful Company of Musicians in London, who all enable Lotherton to offer performing opportunities to future musical stars.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries said: “It’s wonderful to think that music from this beautiful piano has be heard and loved by so many different generations of people in Leeds.
“Imaging the city’s prominent families of the past listening to recitals that featured some of the same music played at the hall by talented young musicians today is very poignant and a fitting tribute this important piece of our local heritage.”
For more details about Lotherton Hall, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall