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New life for Napoleon’s Erard

Having languished for years on a corner shelf of J. G. Morley’s of South Kensington, an instrument the shop simply called an ‘Erard square piano’ was bought by Oliver Davies, a young piano professor (and the founder of MOMH) at the Royal College of Music, in 1964.

What Oliver had bought turned out to be a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to his second wife Marie Louise on the occasion of their marriage in 1810, the piano (no.7493) was completed by the Paris factory of Erard Frères on 9 October 1808.

Just over two hundred and fourteen years later, on 21 October 2022, MOMH and Hatchlands Park welcomed composer Martin Phipps and pianist Andrew Skeet to record some of the soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s feature film ‘Napoleon’ on the Erard.