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Mr Langshaw’s Square Piano: how the first pianos initiated a cultural revolution

The Arts Society Lunesdale

2.15pm Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Borwick & Priest Hutton Memorial Hall

Mr Langshaw’s Square Piano: how the first pianos initiated a cultural revolution

 A talk by Madeline Goold, LLB, BA, MPhil, SWLA

A number concealed in a piano made by John Broadwood in 1807 leads to a quest to discover who had first owned and played it. A host of characters from Georgian society emerges, some famous, some forgotten.  Mr Langshaw came from Lancaster and followed his father as organist at the Priory.  He lived and studied with the Wesley family and attended their subscription concerts where he met London’s elite society, people immortalised in some of the finest paintings and conversation pieces of the period.  These, together with letters and memoirs and archival documents of great beauty, enable us to trace a life lived through a momentous phase of English socio-cultural change. His story is set against a broad historical background; Broadwood pianos carried the voice and values of British culture to every part of the known world. We look at pianos humble and grand in museums and private collections and, through contemporary paintings, at the people who owned them. As pianos found their way from drawing-room to parlour, from schoolhouse to public house, Indian bungalow and Caribbean Great house, did they indeed bring about a cultural revolution?

Tea/coffee available before and after the lecture. Guests by prior appointment with the Membership Secretary - £5 guest charge per meeting.  Contact The Arts Society Lunesdale by clicking here.

Madeline Goold

Madeline Goold, LLB; B.A; M.Phil; SWLA, originally read Law at the London School of Economics, and later Fine Art and History of Art at the Barber Institute, Birmingham.  A professional sculptor, she teaches stone carving at her studio and exhibits with the Society of Wildlife Artists to which she was elected in 2009.  A lifelong pianist, the purchase of an historic piano led her to writing Mr Langshaw’s Square Piano (Corvo Books UK) and research on the early piano for a PhD at Birmingham University.  She is a LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) gold medallist with Distinction in public speaking.

 

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