Friday, October 30, 2009

NEWSFLASH: Pia-No More

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/8333215.stm

There was sad news today. Deeply sad news. There will be no more pianis made in england on the closure of the Kemble factory in Milton Keynes. It's been on the so since 1911 but Yamaha have finally moved production abroad.

Is there anything in the UK we can still make for our selves? A company which has sold more than 120,000 pianos and won a Queen's award for export is ironically now being itself exported.

It is sad that the UK piano-making Industry has been propped up since 1986 by a foreign conglomerate such as Yamaha; sadder still that the hand that saved it with that 80s buyout will now happily pull the plug on its entire existence.

There is room for light optimism; maybe we will now make lovely, handmade pianos on a scale never seen before, with the big factory gone and us still, we hope, wanting pianos.

But more importantly, I hope that our largest concert halls, which prize Steinway and other foreign importers above British talent, will relaise how important it is that we foster the craft of music in the UK and not just performacne of sound. England must ring with the chimes of hammer and keys for years to come or we will still be using old, tired keyboards.

This could be the best opportuntiy yet; who can be the first to come up with a brand new UK idea for piano production? Innovaters, step up now and make us pioneers not the poor relations of an industry which is diong better elsewhere.........

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