In 1997, Christopher Seed commissioned the Dutch firm Poletti and Tuinman Fortepiano Makers to build the world’s first left-handed piano. A complete mirror-image of a 19th century fortepiano, the high notes begin on the left and move down in pitch towards the right. The lid opens from the opposite side, and the pedals are reversed. Christopher sits on the other side of the stage to ensure that his left hand and the lid are facing the audience. Being left-handed, and with the keyboard reversed, he can now play more of the melodic and elaborate parts with his dominant hand. Not only does this give him a physical advantage, but it is also a more instinctive way of playing.
The instrument has received a huge amount of media and public interest, and was exhibited at the International Early Music Festivals in Bruges (1998) and London (2001).
Christopher Seed gave the launch concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in 1999. The performance received a standing ovation, and led to interviews and live broadcasts as far away as Japan, New Zealand, Canada and South
America. Highlights include BBC World News, Fox News (USA), Tomorrow’s World Plus, Radio 3 In Tune, Radio 4 Today programme, Front Row, National Public Radio USA, and articles in The Times, The Independent, The Observer, Die Welt, The New York Times and Classical Music. Other appearances have included recitals at Wigmore Hall (May 2002), Cardiff Early Music Series (January 2003) and City Music Society (April 2003) and three concerts at the Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels opening festival - the first televised in the presence of the Queen of Belgium. As part of the European Capital of Culture Festival, he gave a recital and lecture for Le monde de Deux Mains at the Abbaye de Neumunster, Luxembourg (2007) and two recitals at the Geelvinck Hinlopen Museum, Amsterdam (2007). He gave masterclasses and
recitals in Frankfurt (2009) and Taipei (2012), further TV performances for TV Arte and RTL Luxembourg and performed for Radio 3 at the Proms (2010)).
A graduate of the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied from 1982 to 1987 with Peter Element and John Barstow, Christopher Seed later studied privately with Christopher Elton and Alexander Kelly, taking part in
masterclasses with Pascal Rogé, Menahem Pressler and Paul Badura-Skoda. He made his professional recital debut in 1990 at St.John’s, Smith Square. Prior to the launch of the Left-Handed Piano, he gave solo recitals at the Purcell Room, duo recitals (The Fool’s Progress) at the Edinburgh Festival, Bath Festival and Wigmore Hall, and concerto performances at venues including Snape Maltings. In 1995, he was selected to appear in the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition televised masterclasses in Belgium.