One afternoon sometime in the early 1980s Robert was biking through Forest Row, in Sussex when his attention was distracted by the sight, in a car showroom, of a grand piano, in place of a gleaming new motorcar. Curiosity got the better of him, so he stopped and, clad in biking leathers entered the showroom. It seems the piano had to be sold to pay for a car, and it was thought better to display it in the showroom to see if an early sale could be achieved. Robert asked if he could play it. He did not exactly look like the epitome of a concert pianist, so it took a little while before he was allowed to touch the instrument. After playing for a few minutes, he turned to see the showroom doors opened and a reasonable audience of appreciative, but nonplussed local people standing on the pavement! It is thought he probably played “Jeux d’eau” by Ravel, a piece he loved to play.
Move the story forward 30 years. A young lady called Nadine Andre was one of the Robert Bouffler Music Trust’s first beneficiaries. She is now a teacher, pianist, and Trustee. On her website, you can download some music she plays – including – yes, you’ve guessed it – “Jeux d’eau” by Ravel. Thank you, Robert Bouffler, your legacy continues!