Published: 09:03, 02 March 2018
Finchcocks - home for 45 years to the much loved music museum - is to be given a new lease of life.
Until the end of 2015, the Georgian mansion, in Goudhurst, had been owned by Richard and Katrina Burnett who opened it so the public could review Mr Burnett’s extensive collection of historic harpsichords, pianos and organs. The museum’s cellar restaurant also hosted regular jazz nights.
Now Finchcocks’ new owners, Neil and Harriet Nichols, who purchased the building for £3m in 2016, are once again opening it to the public. They have converted part of the listed building into a contemporary piano school for adults with the cavernous cellar turned into a recital room and practice rooms, each containing a grand piano.
The mansion’s coach house has also been converted to create a boutique-style hotel for guests of the piano school.
Mr Nichols first fell in love with Finchcocks when he visited the museum on a school trip 25 years ago. He said: “It’s fantastic to be able to continue the musical legacy at Finchcocks - albeit in a more modest scale than before.
“A lot of people learn the piano growing up, but barely touch a piano as an adult. We hope that our weekend courses will re-inspire lapsed pianists and help them rediscover their love of the piano.”
Mr Nichols read physics at Cambridge, before working for a US private equity firm in London where he helped invest their $1bn European fund. He left the company in 2006 to go it alone and and over the past decade has bought 14 businesses in the property and professional services sectors. He said he was a keen piano player at school, and his childhood memories of Finchcocks inspired him to find a way to continue its musical legacy.
Previous owner Katrina Burnett, said: “Richard and I are so pleased that Neil and Harriet have bought Finchcocks, and we’re delighted that they’ve found a way to continue the musical tradition at Finchcocks.”
Mr and Mrs Nichols will also be using Finchcocks as their private home for them and their two sets of young twins.
Finchcocks is offering courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
Courses are limited in availability, with only eight students at a time and only one course per month.
For more, or to book, visit www.finchcocks.com
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