The world renowned concert pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski from Poland, who travelled throughout Europe, England and America – often with his own piano – transported this Bechstein concert grand in 1904 to Australia and New Zealand for his concert tour which concluded in Auckland at His Majesty’s Theatre. Rather than ship the piano back to Europe, Paderewski sold it to Mr JB MacFarlane of Epsom Auckland whose family owned it for 96 years.
Whilst in their care it was beautifully restored inside and out, strings renewed and felts and dampers replaced by the original makers in Berlin. The original soundboard and action at that time were in excellent condition. Around 2000 the bodywork was completely refurbished.
Whittaker’s Music Museum purchased the piano from the MacFarlane’s grandson, Mr M Hanna, in 2001. The piano has since been further restored (2012), with the replacement of top quality hammers, the action completely stripped and most moving parts replaced, the keyboard re-weighted to concert standard plus a total regulation.
The original stool is still with the piano.