Pianist Stephen Hough will perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor on the Queen’s gold piano at the BBC Proms tonight. This will be the first time the Queen’s extravagant gold leaf piano, ordered by Queen Victoria in 1856, has been played outside Buckingham Palace.
Stephen Hough said, “There is an intimacy, and human quality, to this piano’s reedy timbre which really does feel like something from another era.”
BBC Proms Director David Pickard said, “It’s a beautiful piano and it’s the first time it’s been played outside of Buckingham Palace. The Palace has been very accommodating, they are keen for people to see and hear the piano. It will look spectacular in the hall.”
2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth and Prom 40: Queen Victoria’s 200th Anniversary celebrates the bicentenary not just of Victoria, but also of her husband, Prince Albert, who was born in the same year.
Mendelssohn was Queen Victoria’s favourite composer and his Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor is widely thought to have been her favourite piece of music. The composer had a very special relationship with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and even made some piano duet arrangements for them to play. The piano was the centre of music making at home for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and they installed pianos in the private apartments of all their residencies.
In addition to Stephen Hough’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 tonight’s BBC Proms concert will also feature Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ symphony, a suite from Arthur Sullivan’s ballet Victoria and Merrie England, composed to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as well as songs by Prince Albert.
Stephen Hough will perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, on the Queen’s gold piano, during Prom 40: Queen Victoria’s 200th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall tonight, Friday 16 August 2019, at 7.30pm. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.