The Great Grand Piano Fund & Classic Gershwin at the OSO

The Old Sorting Office (OSO) arts centre in Barnes, SW London, provides a vibrant and busy community for artists and audiences to gather and interact. The Centre opened in September 2002 and provides a venue for theatre and live performances, art exhibitions, dance classes, music, drama for all ages and abilities, writers’ groups, Yoga, Pilates classes, education opportunities… in fact, anything and everything!

Yvonne Evans, Barnes resident and indefatigable concert promoter, is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to secure £10,000 for the purchase and upkeep of a Steinway grand piano for the OSO, a beautiful historic instrument with a fascinating provenance, generously donated by Susan Tod Boyd, whose late husband David Tod Boyd, was a long time Barnes resident and an illustrious member of London’s musical life. For details of how to contribute to the OSO Steinway Fund, please contact Yvonne direct on


The piano will be unveiled in a special concert at the OSO on Saturday 9th August. ‘Classic Gershwin’ explores the world of ever-popular composer George Gershwin  by weaving his vibrant music with the fascinating story of his life – from his birth in the colourful, teeming New York of 1898 to his tragically early death in 1937. David Tod Boyd loved Gershwin so, fittingly,  this concert will be dedicated to him.

With prize-winning pianist and famed Gershwin interpreter Viv McLean and renowned classical actress Susan Porrett narrating, this music and words concert presents an eclectic mix of Gershwin’s music from the much-loved Rhapsody in Blue, I got Rhythm Variations and Swanee to the rarely-played, classical Preludes and the virtuoso challenge of the Piano Concerto and offers an intriguing insight into Gershwin’s little-known, many faceted personal history.

‘Classic Gershwin’ is the third words and music collaboration between actress/writer Susan Porrett and pianist Viv McLean, and comes in the wake of their much-loved Shakespeare show ‘Touches of Sweet Harmony’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Divine Fire’ – the story of Fryderyk Chopin and George Sand, which has now toured throughout the UK for three years.

‘Classic Gershwin’ is at the OSO Barnes on Saturday 9th August at 7.30pm. Book tickets

The formal dedication of the Tod Boyd Steinway will be on 23rd September at the Grand OSO  Black & White Piano Party – a celebration of  the piano and musical theatre in music and words featuring pianists Bobby Chen, Anthony Hewitt, Viv McLean and GeNIA, poet Graham Roos and actress Susan Porrett and friends. The legendary Fenella Fielding will officially launch this very special piano. Further details and tickets here