by Michael Gill
Apollo's Fire is resorting to Plan B this week: The ensemble's season finale was slated to include acclaimed pianist Sergei Babayan's period instrument debut on a historic Blüthner piano. But the same winter weather that makes peiple's skin dry up had the same effect on the piano. So he'll be using a Steinway, instead.
The Bluthner dates to 1877 and comes from a historic piano collection in Massachusetts. It was moved to Cleveland in mid February, in the hope that a month would give it time to acclimatize. The climate had its way with the instrument, though, leaving it in "unplayable" condition, according to Apollo's Fire executive director Jacqueline Taylor. It's believed that once returned to its home climate, the piano will return to its former self.
Meanwhile the show must go on, and Babayan will perform the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor on "an unusually gentle and transparent Steinway," courtesy of Steinway Hall, of Akron.