The Alberti Group of Pianists
- Our History so Far
The group started around 1983 as regular
piano class for adults at
the Manchester Adult College. It was a weekly class during term time
with a tutor - Martin Bussey who subsequently moved to Chethams.
About 1986 the college underwent reorganisation of its syllabuses, apparently to make them fit better with the current social model , and the piano class was eliminated despite it being well attended. The members of the class then decided to " go it alone " and, after hiring a hall for a year within the college but without any tuition, found premises in the studio of the then "Manchester School of Music" in Albert Square, Manchester. Initially the class was conducted on the same lines as it had been in the past but without a regular tutor.The practice grew of simply taking each meeting as an opportunity for pianists to play to each other and talk about it rather than to see it as a "lesson" or "tutorial". Up to about 1990 the group did not give itself a name, but then the outlook from the studio directly into Albert Square combined with the well known association with the "Alberti Bass" prompted a name for the group which has stuck ever since. Around 1994 the Manchester School of Music underwent change of ownership and moved away from Albert Square into premises within the " Friends Meeting House" fairly nearby. Again there was a studio and a grand piano, but the sound proofing was less than perfect. However the Alberti Group continued gaining some new members and losing some old ones. During 2000 the frequency of meetings was changed to fortnightly which proved to be a good move that seems to have been popular with the members. And in 2000 the Manchester School of Music decided to move out of the Friends Meeting House leaving the Alberti Group again looking for premises. This time Margaret Pollit saved the day by locating premises at the Unitarian Chapel in Cross St which proved to be an ideal meeting place, with a far superior instrument to play on, and use of tea room facilities for post meeting chat. The Alberti Group has had the basic minimum of formal organisation. Initially there was a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Currently the Secretary Joan Pearson, and the Treasurer, Andy Jowett, carry out the formal business required for arranging meetings and organising premises.