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World-class pianist strikes a chord with Aiglon alumni gifted piano

World-class pianist strikes a chord with Aiglon alumni gifted piano

Carlotta CZ with Mrs Parsons (aka Bibi), widow of former Headmaster Mr Philip Parsons (1976-1994)

World-class pianist strikes a chord with Aiglon alumni gifted piano

On April 8th, we were delighted to welcome internationally renowned concert pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet back to Aiglon for a recital held in celebration of a remarkable and generous donation to the school - a Steinway Model O piano.

Aiglon alumni parent Madame Fiorina Zavanelli originally received the piano from her father in the seventies and her daughter Carlotta Calleri-Zavanelli (Exeter, 1994), who was to inherit it, made the decision to gift it to Aiglon in honour of her mother. 

Each Steinway piano is a piece of art with its own personality. The precious result of the interplay between painstaking craftsmanship and fine tuned technology, a Steinway piano takes three years to make. Multiple types of carefully selected woods need two years to dry and evolve into a form that is right for the piano to then take shape over another year before completion.

Then, the piano paired with an exceptional musician like Jean-Efflam Bavouzet makes for a unique musical experience. He revealed the piano’s beautiful sound as he unravelled pieces by Ravel, starting with Jeux d’eau. Listening to it while writing this piece certainly evokes the sound of running water, a diapason of musical notes cascading like water droplets of a waterfall.

When at Aiglon, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet always kindly shares his musical expertise with students. And this time, Madame Zavanelli even joined him on the piano for an impromptu piano duet to round off the phenomenal evening.

The Calleri-Zavanelli family have a special history with the school and the presence of their piano here is a concrete symbol of this enduring connection. Both Carlotta and her brother Sebastiano attended Aiglon for a number of years. 

Sebastiano passed away in an accident after successfully summiting Mount Kenya in September 2004. Following his tragic loss, his family made Seba’s idea for a scholarship fund, which would give students with great potential the means to study at Aiglon, a reality. 

Christened the Seba CZ Scholarship Fund in his loving memory, it provided four promising students with an Aiglon education. Although the Seba Fund has accomplished its mission, the school’s general scholarship fund is now taking 18 students on life-changing journeys.     

In order to raise the bar in musical learning for the whole student body, Aiglon is on a path to becoming an All Steinway school. With our 88 Keys campaign, you can adopt a piano key and in turn help fund our music programme. Find out more and watch one of our students play on Madame Zavanelli’s piano here

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