The NLC Literary Circle and the Authors Club have planned a Read-A-Thon and a Gala Evening Dinner for Thursday 8th July. The first will run from 4.30-6.30pm and will involve writers of fiction, poetry, travel and memoirs reading from their own works in a programme curated by Lucy Popescu, Chair of the Authors' Club. This will have a kind of Lounge/Cabaret feel about it and members are invited to drop in for just a few readings or for the whole event.
The evening will be a ticketed Gala Dinner. Lucy has secured Sophy Roberts who wrote The Lost Pianos of Siberia to speak. A book that begins with the author's sourcing a piano for a young friend in Mongolia – how apposite – turns into a search for all those pianos “washed up and abandoned” in Siberia, how they came to be there, and how they survived. It is a work not only about music and travel but also 250 years of Russian and Siberian history and socio-politics. The Lost Pianos of Siberia was shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Prize and named as one of the Books of 2020 by the Independent, The Times and the Telegraph.
The other main part of the evening will come from the live auction. Tyler Hay, the Kettner Society's in-house concert pianist, will put together a list of famous piano works in different keys and attendees at the Dinner can bid for what they want to be played on the night. Tyler is a huge talent and has just made the Finals of the Leeds International Piano Competition.
We will also have a raffle and a silent auction. Raffle tickets will be on sale in the next month and we will release details of the silent auction in the weeks leading up to the Dinner. A five day stay in Berlin and a week's accommodation in Madeira are some of the silent auction prizes that have already been donated. (Do please contact Kate at the email address below if you have possible raffle or silent auction prizes.)
Running through all the Kettner events and the Gala Dinner/Read-A-Thon are the "sponsor a key signature" and "sponsor a piano key" initiatives - http://justgiving.com/campaign/NLCPiano. We have set up a dedicated email account for this and any other subjects to do with the piano appeal. This email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are asking a minimum of £250 for the key signatures and £100 for the piano keys. As nearly a third of the 24 key signatures have already been taken, we would suggest anyone with a real interest in sponsoring one of these get in touch with us asap. Alternatively if there is someone in the NLC or Kettner Society that you think will be interested do let them know. Everything will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis and all donations will be anonymous unless wished otherwise. As the Piano Appeal is being promoted extensively across the NLC Magazine out in mid May, we would suggest getting in touch sooner rather than later. (Anyone wanting to donate less than £100 will, of course, also be able to do so via the Justgiving account and this is live now.)