Great music to shiver to

Piano Week co-artistic director: Martin Roscoe.
Piano Week co-artistic director: Martin Roscoe.
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On Friday, March 21, an amazing thing happened in Lancaster. An international concert pianist hot-footed it from the Barbican to play a humble baby grand piano in a school hall.

It was a surreal experience to sit just a few feet from Martin Roscoe, almost able to see the pores on his hands, and hear world-class renditions of two Beethoven sonatas, several Brahms intermezzo and the most difficult Chopin Impromptu ever, in a room with shabby, half-hanging-off curtains.

LRGS had somehow managed to lure Martin, maybe though some old boy network, or the ‘right connections’, but ironically they weren’t able to lure a heating engineer to fix the radiators.

It was a cold, wet and windy night and it wasn’t just the wimps who shivered and huddled. A few of us asked the head in the interval if he could do anything about the temperature but he said the heating was doing all it could.

The bursar had a different line, telling us he was very sorry but the heating had broken down and anyway the building dates back to 1929.

A consistent story would’ve evoked more trust.

There were no hot drinks in the interval which was disappointing as we’d hoped to jump into a hot coffee to warm up, and although these seem like petty gripes it’s actually very miserable and unpleasant to sit shivering for two hours, and can leave frailer people struggling with aches and pains for hours afterwards. And it’s unnecessary in 2014.

Even if it had been raining in I’m sure most of us would’ve tolerated that to hear Martin play in such an intimate setting, but the fact is, it’s not 1929 anymore and a grammar school that rates itself very highly should not be so mean.

If the heating had genuinely broken down, at short notice when all the plumbers in Lancaster had gone home for tea, then why not warm the place up a bit with a few portable radiators and join the 21st century.

A fabulous musical experience was marred by the meanness and/of lack of imagination of the management and I’d hope they’d take these comments on board for next time.

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