In 2013, the ANU School of Music (SoM) took delivery of an 1847 Pleyel Concert Grand piano for its historic keyboard collection. The piano had been acquired after the first edition of the Australian International Piano Competition in 2011.
Pleyel was Chopin’s preferred maker of pianos so, and with its purchase the SoM had thought that it could be associated with the Australian International Chopin Competition in some form.
The Friends of Chopin Australia are very keen to support the inclusion of historic instruments as part of the Competition, and in the understanding of Chopin more generally. In 2014, the Friends of Chopin Australia approached Professor Peter Tregear (Head of School) and Dr Erin Helyard (early music specialist and curator of the historic keyboard collection) with an offer to financially support the maintenance and refurbishment/restoration (where needed) of the Pleyel to enable a more active public performance schedule.