The Carl Bechstein Foundation has accepted the collection of vintage keyboard instruments donated by the Berlin-based “Lebensfarben” foundation. In keeping with that foundation’s original purpose, the instruments are to be restored for use and playing at concerts and workshops. The aim is to create an internationally renowned collection to appreciate the history of pianomaking and to both play and display the instruments in a Carl Bechstein House to be created in Berlin.

The Lebensfarben foundation had collected almost fifty vintage keyboard instruments. These include fortepianos from such well-known pianomakers as Johann Andreas Stein, John Broadwood or Muzio Clementi. The collection’s newly founded Board of Trustees includes the following members: Professor Christoph Hammer (Augsburg), Professor Jan Schultsz (Basel), Professor Gerrit Zitterbart (Hanover) and Professor Hubert Rutkowski (Hamburg).

The Board of Trustees viewed the instruments in their present condition, although only the best pieces are to be restored and kept as part of the collection. The Board members also considered proposals to supplement the collection with more instruments. Plenty of work lies ahead, but the essential first steps have been taken.