The beauty and sound aesthetics of period pianos are attracting more and more modern pianists as well as the public.
Orchestras and conductors such as the Orchestre des Champs Elysées (P. Herreweghe), the Chambre Philharmonique (E. Krivine), the Orchestra of the XVIIIth Century (F. Bruggen), the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (Sir J. E. Gardiner) offer more and more regularly the concertos of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin on period pianos played by modern pianists (B. Chamayou, N. Goerner, M. Hemcheln...) convinced of the appeal of the sonorities and the possibilities of nuance offered by these pianos, thus becoming the first ambassadors to the general public.
At the same time, solo pianists have immersed themselves in the aesthetics carried by the sounds of these period pianos. Several generations have followed one another since Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Alexei Lubimov, Jos van Immerseel and their disciples Kristian Bezuidenhout, Tom Beghin, Edoardo Torbianelli.
Numerous approaches to historically informed performance have been implemented at Cornell University (USA), McGill University (Montreal), the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the Orpheus Instituut (Ghent), the conservatories of The Hague, Paris, Geneva, Moscow, Munich and now at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.
The Royaumont Foundation has been involved in this movement since 2010 with professional training workshops that have brought together more than 160 young pianists, research workshops and an international symposium in 2016.
Several international competitions on period pianos are being created in Europe and - as a sign of this revival - the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw will offer its 1st edition of a competition on historical pianos in September 2018. Some labels have accompanied these historically informed approaches in the wake of the Baroque approach.
However, the accompaniment of the development of these confirmed soloists or young laureates from higher education institutions is hampered by the fragility of the professional network both in France and in Europe.
The association La Nouvelle Athènes has a double ambition: to mobilize the conditions to protect certain period pianos by restoring them in order to create an ideal collection accessible to the members of the association, to encourage the development of knowledge of the romantic repertoires (different "touches", approach of the sources - scores, testimonies, methods, historical recordings) in order to develop the mastery of the practice on historical instruments and to share this art through training workshops, public masterclasses and concerts.