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OUR PIANO

WEEKLY PIANO LOUNGE

Our Piano is used weekly at our Piano Lounge event, where we invite you to drink and enjoy music by candlelight. Take a look at our What's On page to find out more.

THE TOD BOYD STORY

The TOD BOYD Steinway piano has been generously donated, on a long loan, to the OSO Arts Centre by the Boyd family who lived in Castelnau for 90 years.

The piano has been played by such notable musicians as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharpe, and used to accompany Isolde Menges, one of the foremost violinists of the first half of the twentieth century, in practice for her various solo performances and with her Quartet and Quintet throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s. It continued to be played by her son,David Tod Boyd, throughout his own impressive musical career ending in the Opera School at the Royal College of Music from where he retired.

The piano was originally bought new in 1906 by Harold Tod Boyd a pianist, choir master and composer. In 1920 he married Isolde Menges, a violinist who had studied with Leopold Auer and Carl Flesch in St. Petersburg. They came to live in Castelnau shortly afterwards. Isolde Menges had made her debut concert 1913 at Wigmore Hall and throughout the first half of the twentieth century worked with leading conductors and orchestras of her day around the world. In 1938, her Quartet was one of the first to present the entire cycle of Beethoven Quartets. A major prize commemorates her at the Royal College of Music, where she was a professor until 1969.

The piano featured prominently throughout her musical life as her accompaniment in her home in Barnes, where it has been enjoyed by the many musicians who passed through her professional and social circle. On this piano Vaughan Williams composed his String Quartet #2, 'For Jean on her birthday'.

Following Isolde’s death in 1976 it was left to her son, David Tod Boyd, who held musical director and conductor roles at the Carl Rosa Opera Company, ENO, West End Theatres, the National Theatre and the Royal College of Music.

The piano is dedicated to the memory of DAVID TOD (Toddy) BOYD.