LONDON - It may come as a surprise to many fans that the iconic piano that has featured in such timeless ABBA pop classics as “Mamma Mia,” “Waterloo,” “Money, Money, Money,” and “Dancing Queen” was actually built for the great American jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans. The instrument’s creator, innovative Swedish designer Georg Bolin, was originally a cabinetmaker before becoming a celebrated guitar and piano craftsman. The Bolin Grand Piano, as it was called, was arguably one of his most inventive designs. A 1964 New York Times article refered to Bill Evans’s “Space-Age piano,” and noted, “the new piano represents Mr. Bolin’s ultimate desire – to produce an instrument that gives the pianist the sensation of playing ‘directly on the strings’ as a guitarist would.”
THE 'ABBA GRAND' TO BE OFFERED AT THE ROCK & POP AUCTION ON 29 SEPTEMBER. ESTIMATE £600,000–800,000
“The Bolin Grand, one of a kind and a great source of inspiration while working in the recording studio during the ABBA sessions!”
BENNY ANDERSSON OF ABBA
In 1967 the piano was purchased by Metronome Studios (now Atlantis Grammofon) in Stockholm. At the recording studio, at that point the only professional recording studio of its size in Stockholm, the instrument came to the attention of Benny Andersson of ABBA. It soon became known as “The ABBA Grand Piano” and featured on virtually all of their recordings in the period 1973-77. The piano was showcased on ABBA’s first five studio releases, placing it at the centre of the musical output of one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music. ABBA are estimated to be one of the best-selling music artists of all time, second only to The Beatles. It is rare for any ABBA-related material to be sold and this is the first major ABBA piece to be offered at auction.