Bechstein Elevates Musical Excellence at PLC

Students have been performing, practising, and recording on the recently gifted C. Bechstein Concert Grand Piano – a world-class piano of enormous prestige, unmatched anywhere in Western Australia.

Renowned for its exceptional sound quality, it has been favoured by some of the most famous pianists in history with many iconic songs chosen to be recorded on this piano – from Adele’s Skyfall, The Beatles’ Hey Jude, and Queen’s Bohemian Rapsody. French impressionist composer of the early 1900s, Claude Debussy, was also quoted as saying that “all piano music should only ever be played on a Bechstein!” 

Torben Garlin, Bechstein’s Head Piano Technician, tunes the Bechstein.

PLC’s purpose-built music centre welcomed the Bechstein in December last year before Bechstein’s Head Piano Technician, Torben Garlin flew from Germany to prepare the instrument for student use. He also taught PLC staff how to properly care for the prestigious instrument. Importantly, local piano tuners and technicians were also trained and accredited in the maintenance, set up, and sound of the instrument (being the only one in the state).

PLC is proud to join established and renowned institutions such as the Julliard School (New York), the Royal Academy of Music (London), and the National Conservatory of Music (Mexico) as places that own this magnificent instrument.

Among its many impressive features is how it connects to a special Bechstein app allowing students to play piano and change the output sound through a mobile device. This same app will enable them to record pieces that they can use for self-analysis purposes or as backing tracks for recitals for other instruments.

Director of Music, Mr Chris Goff, holds the app while Mr Garlin plays to demonstrate the capabilities of the app.

Taking hold of this world-class instrument was made possible by one generous donation by an anonymous benefactor with the singular purpose of enhancing musical education for current and future students.

Among these students, Kaitlyn, a Year 11 ATAR Music student and talented pianist, praises the Bechstein for its playability and exceptional sound quality. She finds it particularly impressive for its balance of power and delicacy.

“It felt so light, yet still so richly colourful, especially in the lower register. The balance of the sound is simply unparalleled—it possesses immense power in its dynamics while maintaining a delicate tone,” Kaitlyn said.

Principal, Ms Cate Begbie, expresses her admiration for the students’ performances on this esteemed instrument, noting the honour it is to witness their artistry. She was left in awe after the Junior School and Senior School students performed pieces for their respective recitals at the end of last term.

Kaitlyn after her incredible performance on the Bechstein piano.

PLC Perth distinguishes itself as the only institution in Western Australia to offer students the opportunity to practice and perform on a Bechstein of this caliber. This addition not only enhances the college’s musical programme but also enriches the experiences of promising young pianists and heralding a new era of musical brilliance.

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