11 March 2019

Tune up for Australia’s first piano

Since it first arrived on Australian soil in 1788 it’s fair to say the First Fleet piano could do with a tune up.

The keyboard has undergone lengthy travels since it was built in 1786 – enduring 8 months at sea aboard the flagship HMS Sirius in 1788 before arriving at Botany Bay as a part of Australia’s First Fleet.

The piano is now a part of the Founding Pianos collection at Edith Cowan University.

Now, after more than two centuries since first introducing Australia to the sound of its music, this unique piano will travel back home to the United Kingdom as a part of its restoration. 

Lotterywest CEO Susan Hunt PSM said the Lotterywest grant of $91,800 has helped make the restoration voyage possible.

“Lotterywest is pleased to support the restoration of the First Fleet Piano and help preserve the cultural heritage that this instrument represents,” Ms Hunt said.  

The piano will be welcomed at a gala reception at Australia House in London, hosted by the WA Agent General to the United Kingdom, Mr Mike Deeks. 

The restoration is expected to take 10 months following which it will return to Perth for Western Australians to enjoy into the future. 

Check out the video below to hear how the centuries old piano sounds right now.

Media Enquiries Jennie Fitzhardinge & Hermione Coleman: 9488 6227 / 0438 996 884