Wednesday marked a milestone in The Purcell School’s history: it was the day that the School became the first ever Fazioli Centre of Excellence.  This award was conferred in person by Mr Paolo Fazioli, founder of Fazioli Pianoforte from Sacile in Italy.  The School currently possesses four superb Fazioli pianos.

The Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt joined Mr Fazioli to mark the occasion. She gave an inspirational masterclass to our pupils and then went on to play an unforgettably exquisite recital of music by J.S. Bach, Scarlatti, Liszt, Ravel and Chabrier.  It was wonderful to hear this amazing pianist in action and we were all struck by her superlative playing and her warm personality.  She gave a fascinating introduction to the Chabrier piece and after that asked the audience to select an encore.

The Fazioli Centre of Excellence Award marks the collaboration between Fazioli and The Purcell School.  It recognises The Purcell School as a Centre of Excellence in providing young musicians of exceptional talent and promise with the best possible teaching and environment in which to fulfil their potential.  Students visit Sacile every two years and as well as performing at the Fazioli Concert Hall also have the opportunity to visit the factory and learn more about what goes into the making of these outstanding pianos.

Paolo Fazioli said during his speech conferring this honour on the School “The Purcell School has demonstrated excellence over and over again but most recently it came to my direct attention when Martin Bartlett won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 2014. My aim is to help and support the education of young people within a Fazioli Centre of Excellence by allowing them access to visit my factory to learn how pianos are made; this is important for the pianist as they must understand how their instrument works in order to get the most from it.  We will support the Purcell School by using our connections with world class pianists to provide access to them for masterclasses such as Angela has done today”