Oops: Movers Drop Piano Worth $194K

Angela Hewitt

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A Canadian piano virtuoso is mourning the loss of her specially made, $194,000 piano after the instrument she called her "best friend" was accidentally dropped and destroyed by movers.

Hewitt said Italian engineer Paolo Fazioli inspected the hand-built piano and deemed it "not salvageable". "It was my best friend, best companion", said Hewitt, who has played with orchestras across the globe. It's kaputt. The movers of course were mortified. "In 35 years of doing their job, this had never happened before", Hewitt wrote on Facebook. "At least nobody was hurt", she continued.

The damage was so great from the drop that its lid split in half.

The F278 Fazioli piano, the only one in the world fitted with four pedals, has enormous sentimental value for Hewitt and has been used for all her European recordings since 2003.

Hewitt had used the piano on all the CDs she'd recorded in Europe since 2003, as well as at many concerts, and wrote that she waited 10 days to share news of its demise with the world as she was in such shock.

The piano had only recently been equipped with new hammers and strings.

In her most recent stop in Germany last month, she was in the studio to finish recording "Beethoven Variations in Berlin".

"They say once you play a Fazioli, you see that pretty much all other pianos you have to beat the sound out of the piano". In 2007, movers delivering an $89,000 grand piano to the Two Moors Festival in Devon, southern England, dropped the instrument out of their van.

"This was a piano that gave back as much as you put into it, and then challenged you for more", she wrote.

Hewitt said it could be several months before she receives a new piano.

This is not the first piano-moving disaster.

David Andersen, a Los Angeles-based piano technician servicing concert pianists, said that for a piano to sustain such irreparable damage, it would have had to have taken a nasty fall.

"These pianos are one of a kind, especially when a professional player who dedicates their whole life to this picks a piano", he said. She said she is confident she will find another piano to make her own.

"I hope my piano will be happy in piano heaven", she wrote.

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