At Frederic Chopin Museum in Warsaw, the composer’s last piano is being restored

Posted on: December 13, 2021

“The last piano on which Frederic Chopin played and composed in Paris is being renovated by a U.S. expert who is giving it back its original mid-19th century characteristics,” writes Monika Scislowska in Thursday’s (12/9) Associated Press. “Paul McNulty is spending days at the Frederic Chopin Museum in Warsaw filling in some cracks in the soundboard and putting in wire strings like the ones used by Paris piano manufacturer Camille Pleyel—Chopin’s favorite—in 1848.… Pleyel made the instrument, with serial number 14810, available to Chopin, already seriously ailing at the time, in the fall of 1848. After Chopin’s death in October 1849, the piano was bought by his Scottish student and friend, Jane Stirling, who then offered it to Chopin’s eldest sister, Ludwika Jedrzejewiczowa. The piano arrived in Warsaw in 1850…. It survived two world wars…. Texas-born McNulty says this is the ‘best preserved Pleyel piano in the world,’ despite having quite a dramatic history…. McNulty and museum authorities believe the current work will bring it as close as possible to the sound that Chopin heard…. The instrument will serve as a resource for research and maybe as a model for a replica, but is not intended for performances.”