The idea that the one-and-only Chopin played, taught and composed on this newly “discovered” piano is pretty darn cool…and hats off to the Swiss physicist who found it!
A grand piano that actually sat in Frederic Chopin’s living room in Paris was discovered by Alain Kohler, a Swiss physicist. The piano had been restored by Edwin Beunk & Johan Wennink in the Netherlands in 2009. Presently it is privately owned in Germany. This discovery has been confirmed by an expert.
Alain Kohler, a great admirer of Chopin, has made a truly thorough investigation. Through an accurate and contextual analysis of Pleyel’s ledgers of all the grand pianos Pleyel had put at Chopin’s disposal in his home between 1839 and 1847, he found with certainty several applicable serial numbers. Among those, the Pleyel grand piano n° 11265 caught his attention because he remembered that this piano had been put on the market and sold by Edwin Beunk.
The discovery has been confirmed by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Emeritus Professor of Musicology at the University of Geneva and one of the foremost Chopin scholars. This Pleyel grand piano n° 11265 was in Chopin’s living room at 9 Square d’Orléans in Paris between December 1844 and June 1845. Chopin taught his aristocratic students on it. During this period he did not play in public, but in his home he welcomed a strict selection of guests for private concerts. Chopin must certainly have sketched out the sonata for cello and piano op. 65 on this instrument.