Oscar Peterson (or “O.P.” to his friends) released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours. He is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists, and played thousands of concerts worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.
Oscar Peterson’s favorite instrument was the Bosendorfer and the company recently honored him by debuting a piano in his memory. His family, including his wife Kelly and daughter Celine, were present and involved in the design choices.
Right before Oscar Peterson’s tribute concert at Koerner Hall on 12/11/15, Boesendorfer released the Oscar Peterson Signature Edition (1 of only 12 in the world)
Ever since Oscar Peterson died in 2007, his Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano has sat mute in the basement studio of his home—until recently. Performing on Peterson’s personal piano at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music on Dec. 11, pianists young and old paid tribute to the “Maharajah of the Keyboard” (as he was sometimes known), bringing their individuality to Peterson compositions that were also recorded on his prized Bösendorfer for the new release, Oscar, With Love (Two Lions).
Pianists as diverse as Bill Charlap, Benny Green, Kenny Barron, Renee Rosnes, Gerald Clayton, Oliver Jones and Robi Botos exhibited fiery styles and deep insight on the stage of the conservatory’s intimate Koerner Hall. The concert—which acknowledged what would have been the Canadian legend’s 90th year—was broadcast for free over the Internet (via rcmusic.ca/livestream) under the billing “Oscar @ 90.”
With Oscar’s daughter Celine Peterson acting as master of ceremonies, the tribute began with a performance from Charlap, who has described Oscar Peterson as a pianist who combined “overwhelming virtuosity with depth and originality.”