This has got to be up there on the list of a moving company's worst nightmares: Movers dropped and destroyed a grand piano worth an estimated $194,000. The piano, a handmade Fazioli, belonged to Canadian virtuoso Angela Hewitt, whom CNN calls "one of the world's leading classical pianists." A heartbroken Hewitt announced the loss Sunday on Facebook, saying she'd been too shocked in the immediate aftermath of the incident 10 days prior to reveal what had happened. "At the end of my most recent CD recording sessions (Beethoven Variations in Berlin), when I was so happy with the results and feeling elated, the piano movers came into the control room (where I was finishing up with my producer) to say they had dropped my precious Fazioli concert grand piano. My very own that I have used for all of my CD recordings done in Europe since 2003 (and of course for many concerts)," she wrote.
Paolo Fazioli, the owner of Fazioli Pianos, declared the F278—the only one of that model in the world with four pedals—unsalvageable. "The iron frame is broken, as well as much else in the structure and action (not to mention the lid and other parts of the case)," Hewitt wrote. "It's kaputt. The movers of course were mortified. In 35 years of doing their job, this had never happened before. At least nobody was hurt." The Guardian notes the piano weighed 1,300 pounds. Hewitt says that after the "insurance saga," she will ultimately choose a new Fazioli, but will still mourn the loss of her old one. "I adored this piano. It was my best friend, best companion. I loved how it felt when I was recording—giving me the possibility to do anything I wanted." As an expert explains to the Guardian, "Every single piano is different and you grow with them and they change as they age and you develop together. For a pianist at that level a piano becomes an extension of your body and that’s why she dragged it around for her recordings." (Read more piano stories.)