Case Studies & Resources


A grand piano sponsorship story

Culture partner | Absolute Classics

Business partner | Blüthner Pianos


Community & social empowerment | Education & learning | Health & wellbeing | Older people | Tourism | Young people


Business and/or brand name awareness | Developing community links | Direct access to target audiences | Image enhancement | Marketing | PR opportunities

The project

Absolute Classics, based in Dumfries & Galloway, was founded in 2014. The music charity consistently brings some of the finest and best-known classical musicians to audiences in venues throughout the region and hosts both a four-day summer festival and a winter series that runs from August to March. As invited musicians tour the region to perform, they also visit schools and work with local young people. In order to attract the highest calibre of musicians, Absolute Classics must also provide the highest calibre of instruments but, as a charity, cannot afford the high cost of hiring or purchasing world-class pianos.

To support and enhance the charity’s 2021/22 concert programme and educational activities – in particular, the development of Absolute Classics’ online presence to reach greater audiences – Blüthner agreed to in-kind sponsorship in the shape of a year-long loan of two superb grand pianos (a Blüthner Model 1 and a Blüthner Model 6). These world-class instruments were housed at local venues across Dumfries & Galloway, allowing world-class performances and tuition to be accessed locally by remote communities throughout the region and helping to attract international performers such as Yuki Negishi, Simon Callaghan and Mengyang Pan to the 2021/22 concert programme.

The match funding from the C&BS Fund further enabled Absolute Classics to film concerts performed with the Blüthner pianos for streaming on their online platforms. To date, the concerts have attracted millions of views, substantially extending the charity’s reach and impact, and also providing them with the opportunity to build diverse income streams through online advertising, once a certain numbers of followers and viewers has been reached.

The partnership

Quite simply, Absolute Classics needed first-class instruments for their musicians to perform on in their concert programme while Blüthner wanted great pianists to play their instruments and wider audiences to hear their incredible sound. Following an introduction, both organisations were quick to see the benefits of working together. Recognising the opportunity that Absolute Classics’ annual programme of concerts and education work provided, Blüthner offered two different sized instruments so that their range could be experienced by Absolute Classics audiences, young education participants and their families.

A sponsorship package was developed that took advantage of Absolute Classics’ growing online presence and respected local profile while increasing awareness of the Blüthner brand and the quality it represents for superb sound production. Blüthner were credited as the Premier Sponsor for Absolute Classics’ 2021 August Live Festival and 2021/22 Concert Series across all promotional materials, online and in print, and promoted as the Premier Sponsor on recorded concerts broadcast through social media channels. Thanks to match funding from the C&BS Fund, a Blüthner representative was given dedicated time to speak to audiences about Blüthner pianos during the summer and winter concerts, while dedicated social media content – reaching 1.3 million viewers – helped to amplify the partnership.

Damian Jennison, Absolute Classics Piano Sponsorship, 2021/22

The positive outcomes

Absolute Classics reached just over 96,000 people, both in-person and online, through their concert programmes during the sponsorship year. The charity received overwhelmingly positive feedback from audiences who consistently commented on the importance of being able to access high quality concerts locally.

Thanks to the in-kind provision of two Blüthner pianos, Absolute Classics were able to build on their online work, enabling audiences facing challenges with in-person access with opportunities to ‘attend’ a high quality concert. These concerts not only provided an accessible, affordable and enjoyable social occasion but, significantly, were reported as having helped to combat the isolating effects of living in remote communities in the region.

Absolute Classics now have a long-term marketing strategy that builds on the benefits delivered through this sponsorship, including the ongoing production of online content to raise awareness of their programmes to a much broader demographic. Ultimately this will enable the charity to monetarise their online presence and increase this income stream to support financial stability.

The sponsorship provided by Blüthner and the subsequent C&BS Fund match funding has provided Absolute Classics with a much needed lifeline at a time when our future was uncertain, because of significant losses across all of our income streams following the global pandemic. We have established a long-term strategy that will take advantage of this opportunity and build more diverse income streams with the aim of supporting the organisation’s financial sustainability.
Alex McQuiston, Artistic Director | Absolute Classics
Our partnership with Absolute Classics has been a very positive move for us at Blüthner, which we look forward to continuing well into the future.
Cerys Price, Sales Coordinator | Blüthner Pianos

Join the C&BS community!

Why not become part of our nationwide network of culture and business organisations?

Find out more