A rare instrument, with origins in the clavichord and harpsichord, the pedal piano was once a favourite of Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn in the mid 1800s, but fell out of favour in the 20th Century. However, thanks to the perseverance of Italian pianist Robert Prosseda, the instrument has, in recent years, begun to enjoy something of a renaissance.
In this video Prosseda talks us through the history of the pedal piano, and gives an overview of how the instrument creates such a distinctive sound, as well as the challenges that playing such an instrument presents. He also explains the Pinchi Pedalpiano System, which overcomes the difficulty of touring with a pedal piano, by temporarily converting two concert pianos into the instrument.
On Wednesday 14 November, 2018 the London Philharmonic Orchestra joined pedal-piano virtuoso Roberto Prosseda to perform Messiaen's Hymne, Gounod's Concerto in E flat for pedal piano, and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of four resident orchestras to call Southbank Centre their home.