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If I had a Million Euros… I’d be Rich

August 6, 2010

  The headline could very well be what Martin Becker, a master piano builder from Baden-Baden, Germany is singing these days.  The German newspaper, “Der Spiegel”, reports that Mr. Becker is thought to be in the possession of a million-dollar find – a piano presumably played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself during his 1775 stay in Strasbourg, France.

Auf diesem Hammerklavier aus dem Jahr 1775 soll Mozart gespielt haben.

Becker bought the walnut piano in the mid-80’s from an antique dealer in Strasbourg and, until his decision to auction it off, had been renting it out to trade shows and music schools.

Only after bids didn’t meet his €40,000 minimum asking price was he approached by a music historian from a Hamburg museum.  He recognized the piano as one played by Mozart, based on a historical oil painting in which Joseph Haydn is also seen sitting at it.  Furthermore, it was built by Mozart’s favorite piano builder, Christian Baumann, and was even mentioned in letters to his father, Leopold, adding to the suspicions of its heritage.

Experts are currently working at authenticating the instrument’s history, but should it be what people are thinking it is, this piano could get Martin Becker sitting pretty for a very long time… cause it won’t be going for a song.

(For the original “Der Spiegel” article, click here.)

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