Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, is delighted to announce that a piano personally owned by pop icon George Michael will be auctioned during its prestigious O2 Silver Clef Award ceremony on Friday 1st July. The live auction will be open to George Michael fans from across the world, as well as artists, celebrities and supporters attending the event.
Since the 1980s, George’s music, generosity and legacy has inspired people around the world. By auctioning this piano, it will help Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy to reach more people through the power of music, helping them to connect and communicate regardless of disability, illness or social exclusion.
The Bechstein Grand piano, which George fell in love with and bought, stood in his home in Highgate, London, for many years. It has been generously donated to Nordoff Robbins by George Michael’s Estate, and continues the global star’s renowned charitable legacy and his association with the music therapy charity that he supported throughout his career.
In 1989, when George Michael was just 27-years-old, he was honoured with Nordoff Robbins’ iconic Silver Clef Award for his outstanding contribution to UK music. When he picked up his award that year, during the charity auction his typical generosity saw him bid a substantial sum for a guitar – which he immediately gave straight back to be auctioned again the following year.
George Michael’s Estate said: “We are proud on behalf of George Michael to be able to continue his support of Nordoff Robbins.
George supported many charitable and philanthropic causes during his lifetime which his Estate will continue to do in his memory. We hope that the return of the O2 Silver Clef lunch after a two-year absence will be a huge success and that the piano will raise a substantial amount of money to help continue this vital work after the toughest couple of years for the sector that most of us can remember.”
The O2 Silver Clef Awards are held to recognise and celebrate the talent of the winning artists. Since 1976, through the power of music, the awards have raised over £11 million for Nordoff Robbins’ vital music therapy and honoured some of the greatest names in music, with the most recent event in 2019 raising a record-breaking £1m.
David Austin, who George Michael described as his ‘best friend’ and long-time collaborator, is creating a short film to showcase the piano, including shots of the iconic musician playing the piano in his Highgate home.
Talented pianist Derek Paravicini will give a very special performance of one of George's most loved songs on the piano in the room before it is auctioned live by online specialists, The Auction Collective, during the O2 Silver Clef Award ceremony. Blind and autistic, Derek is pitch perfect and can play any piece of music after hearing it only once. The proceeds of the piano auction, along with other items being sold, will deliver a huge fundraising boost to Nordoff Robbins, enabling its trained music therapists to support some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.
Nordoff Robbins believes that everyone should have access to the value of music. Its music therapists use the power of music to connect with some of the most isolated people in our society - working with children and adults affected by life-limiting illness such as dementia, learning disabilities including autism, physical disability and mental health issues. Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists work with over 270 schools, hospitals, hospices and care homes, as well as providing sessions from its centres across the UK.
This year’s O2 Silver Clef Award winner is the legendary Peter Gabriel, who will be attending the ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, along with Icon Award winner Frankie Valli, Outstanding Achievement winner Jools Holland and other category winners Becky Hill, Tom Walker, Kano, Griff, Tems, Alexis Ffrench, YUNGBLUD and London Grammar.
Peter Gabriel said: “I’m delighted to receive the O2 Silver Clef award. I’ve always believed the role of music goes way beyond entertainment, and I’m convinced that sound and light have a critical role to play in therapies and healing in the future. It’s wonderful to see Nordoff Robbins using music to reach young people, who otherwise would feel much more isolated and vulnerable, and giving them a means of expressing their emotions. I’m working on a project called Reverberation – on the impact of music on the brain and body, so this award is very timely. I fully support Nordoff Robbins’ belief in exploring and expanding the positive role music can have for everyone in our society.”