09 February 2022
By Ellie Palmer
The school was severely damaged in the devastating August 2020 Beirut explosion
The Carl Bechstein foundation has gifted six grand pianos and ten upright pianos to the Beirut National Conservatory.
The piano maker has gifted them to help the stricken music school resume both music lessons and concert activities after it was severely damaged a year and a half ago in a devastating explosion in the city.
The school has been gifted 16 Bechstein pianos
The traumatic August 2020 explosion, which killed more than 200 people, also brought cultural life to a standstill as more than 250 schools were either massively damaged or completely destroyed.
In the aftermath of the explosion, a resident was filmed poignantly playing her piano in the middle of her destroyed, rubble-filled home.
The Beirut National Conservatory provides free music lessons to 6,000 children and young people at various locations across the country. At the same time, Beirut is home to the Lebanon Philharmonic Orchestra with its 90 professional musicians. Overall, the conservatory is a pillar of Lebanese cultural life. This incredible donation will be a huge boost to the city's cultural sector.
Walid Moussallem, President of the National Conservatory, stated enthusiastically: “You have given us an invaluable gift that will now be part of our history and our musical culture. Your precious donation gives us hope and joy at a very dark moment in our history.”
In celebration of the donation, Lebanese pianist Abdul Rachman El Bacha will give a benefit concert on Tuesday 22 March at the invitation of the Carl Bechstein Foundation in the Ehrbar Saal in Vienna.
Lebanese pianist Abdel Rachman El Bacha
The programme includes works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and others. Proceeds from ticket sales and all other donations will benefit the supporters association Friends of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra of the National Conservatory. You can find more information on how to help here.
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