Czech pianist revives unique half-forgotten microtonal harmonium

Photo: Matěj Procházka

Photo: Matěj Procházka

Miroslav Beinhauer is a pianist and player of the sixth-tone harmonium, an instrument conceived by the Czech pioneer of microtonal music Alois Hába in the 1930s. Beinhauer, who is probably the only person in the world to master this unique instrument, only started to play it a few years ago, when he took part in the first ever performance of Hába’s sixth-tone opera Thy Kingdom Come. Since then, he has also encouraged contemporary composers to create new repertoire for the half-forgotten instrument.

I met with Miroslav Beinhauer in the Czech Museum of Music in the centre of Prague, where he goes to practice the sixth-tone harmonium, which is part of the museum’s collections.

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Author: Ruth Fraňková