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21st Birthday - December 2006 at the Purcell Room

The Concert was based on Russian Pianists and Music.

The Camel from our First Concert re-appeared in Colour!

In December 1985, the Pianola Institute presented its inaugural concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. To celebrate its 21st birthday in 2006, it invited a selection of historic Russian composers and pianists to play on Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon piano rolls. Tom Jansen nobly brought a Welte vorsetzer all the way from Germany, and helped to introduce the programme. His enthusiasm was greatly appreciated, not only by the concert organisers, but by a very lively audience as well.

Tom Jansen introducing the Welte Vorsetzer in flawless English.

Anthony Robinson had modified the Institute's Duo-Art push-up, so that the roll transport was controlled by a microprocessor and stepper motor. This guaranteed exact accuracy of timing, and also meant that the various control levers had been mounted in a remote control box. This was the first time that these designs had been tested in concert, and the results were flawless. It is good to have such skilled volunteers contributing to the Institute, and our grateful thanks are due to Anthony for his work.

Denis Hall and Rex Lawson provided support and introductions, and also gave the première of Rachmaninov's Suite for Two Pianos, Op.17, in a new version for two synchronised pianolas.

Two Steinways Merging into One - The Lawson-Hall Duo in Rehearsal.
(Photo: Robert Wilson)

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