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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

New book on an 1804 Broadwood Square Piano

Front cover of book

In Mrs Findlay’s Broadwood Square Piano, author Michael Hannon traces the extraordinary history of his 1804 instrument, originally bought by Mrs Dorothy Findlay, widow of a wealthy Glasgow tobacco merchant.

In 1977 it re-appeared at an Irish auction where the author’s mother bought it. This lavishly illustrated book comes with a specially commissioned CD, including the only publicly available recording of John Donaldson’s Sonata for the Piano Forte [ca. 1822], played on a modern Steinway by Croatian Pianist Inja Davidović.

Inja Davidović

(Inja Davidović – Photo: Janko Matic)

Donaldson ‘ran off’ with ‘The Flighty Dorothea’, Mrs Findlay’s youngest daughter, who had been his pupil; he eventually won the Chair of Music at Edinburgh where he pioneered the scientific study of acoustics and established The John Donaldson [now the Edinburgh University] Collection of Historical Musical Instruments.

Inja Davidović also plays excerpts from Bach’s English Suites and John Field’s Nocturne No.5 on the square piano. Clips from these recordings can be heard at the special website:

This fascinating detective story also reveals uncanny links between Mrs Findlay’s descendants, who made their fortune as tobacco merchants and East Indiamen, and the author’s forebears, the famous shipbuilding Dennys of Dumbarton: it was an entrepreneurial Findlay/Denny partnership that established the historic ‘Irrawaddy Flotilla’, immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in ‘The Road to Mandalay, where the old flotilla lay..’.

With 15 chapters including ‘John Broadwood and the Square Piano’, ‘The Irrawaddy Flotilla’ and ‘Dennys of Dumbarton’, the book, with CD, is priced at £20 plus p&p; for full details, including ordering by PayPal, check the website, through the above link.

Alternatively, for telephone orders, please call Michael Hannon direct on 0114 2302667.
(From outside the UK 44 114 2302667)


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