Who is Mason & Hamlin and what is the PianoFest all about? Mason & Hamlin is the best piano in the world that you’ve probably never heard of before. It is hand built outside of Boston and known since 1900 as “The World’s Finest Piano”. Long the favorite of the greats and near greats, and pianists in the know. Sergei Rachmaninoff credited his initial success in America to being able to concertize with the Mason & Hamlin piano. Ravel Of them said: “While preserving all the qualities of the percussion instrument, the Mason & Hamlin pianoforte also serves magnificently the composer’s concept by its extensive range in dynamics, as well as quality of tone. It is not short of being a small orchestra. In my opinion, the Mason & Hamlin is a real work of art.” Duke Ellington was never too far from his beloved Mason & Hamlin. Today’s most popular pianist on the internet Jarrod Radnich plays only on Mason & Hamlin pianos.
Mason & Hamlin may be the finest pianos ever made in the USA although we realize “Mason & Hamlin is not for everyone”. It’s not for those seeking a piano with an easily recognizable household name. It’s not for those who want to get something only because many others have it. It’s not for people who tend to follow the pack. Mason & Hamlin is for those free thinkers who really know and understand exceptional quality, design and extraordinary unrivaled tone. Mason & Hamlin is for people who appreciate an innovative American company like an Apple or a Microsoft. Mason & Hamlin is for people who will settle for nothing less than cutting edge technological advancements with products that leave established companies that only rest on their laurels rather than innovate in the dust. For example where is IBM in the home computer field today? Mason & Hamlin is for people who understand a piano action ( the mechanical part of a piano) was invented over 300 years ago and made of wood. Back then they had no choice really other than wood. Wood is a great material but it is prone to expand, contract, warp and dry out. It used to be used for golf clubs and tennis rackets but not any longer. Mason & Hamlin is for people who can appreciate the non-traditional carbon fiber composite materials found in new Mason & Hamlin pianos. Mason & Hamlin is for smart consumers who can appreciate a mostly maintenance free piano action which unlike the better known brands, will go on 100 or more years without needing to be replaced. It won’t break, warp or crack. Yes Mason & Hamlin is not for everyone but for those who dare to think different. Those who are willing to go against the more famous options and open their ears to the stunning superior tone and their eyes to the advanced innovative piano technology that is today’s Mason & Hamlin. Our goal with the Pianofest is to celebrate this great American achievement in musical instruments by exposing their concert grand in performance at more than a dozen musical events over 6 weeks spanning many different styles of music demonstrating Mason & Hamlin’s unique musical versatility. Each free event will be followed by a reception with refreshments, meet and greet and lots of free goodies for all of our attending guests. We look forward to welcoming you to our PianoFest.
Our first event – September 23rd at 3pm
An all star tribute to our friend, the late genius pianist and Chopin interpreter extraordinaire, Mario Feninger. We were lucky to know him and we were lucky enough to experience his genius in recital in our hall a few years ago. http://www.mariofeninger.com
October 1st at 3pm – Professor Pianist Mario Merdirossian
We are very thrilled to have Professor Mario Merdirossian with his highly entertaining history of the piano with live concert music called. “The Piano Story”. This is a one of kind presentation traces historical changes in the piano and how those changes influenced piano repertoire. Also how did the repertoire and the pianists needs influence changes in piano design throughout the years. http://www.mariomerdirossian.com/index.html
Oct. 6th 7:30 – Armen Aharonyan – Dynamic Pianist
A Celebration Of Armenian Music. Pianist Armen Aharonyan is recently back from a triumphant multi-city concert tour of Armenia. He will delight us with his one of a kind pianistic virtuosity featuring music by Armenian composers. Join us after wards for a meet and great with the artist.
Oct. 8th 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 4pm
L.A. Young Musician’s Piano Competition
Come hear young pianists of all ages compete on the Mason & Hamlin 9′ piano. Note this is not held at Hollywood Piano but at the Arcadia Community Center at 365 Campus Drive, Arcadia 91006. Every year many contestants enter in all age categories up until high school age. The aspiring pianists are judged by a panel of prominent pianists/ teachers. Mason & Hamlin has been a part of this annual event for more 5 years and is proud to give young pianists the opportunity to compete on their nine foot concert grand. https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesYoungPianistCompetition/
Dr. Tianshu Wang Pays Music of Sunset by Li Yinghai for the assembled guests, contestants and families.
Oct.. 13th – 7:30 – Susanna Tarontsi – An Evening of Classical Piano
An evening of music from the great classical composers. Susanna is one of the world’s leading Aram Khachaturian experts and interpreters of his music.
Susanna Tarontsi is an active pianist, educator and lecturer. She has more than 35 years of music teaching experience in Armenia and USA. She received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Yerevan State Conservatory named after Komitas in Armenia. After graduation Susanna Tarontsi subsequently taught piano, performing art, music methodology and pedagogy in Yerevan State Conservatory and was a chairman in the same department of Babajanian College of Music. She is an author of various writings, essays and lectures on the subject of musical education and piano repertoire. Susanna Tarontsi also performed as a solo artist and as an accompanist to a violin and viola players and received the Best Accompanist Award in Transcaucasian Music Competition in 1984. She performed in various places in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia. In 1991 Susanna Tarontsi relocated to USA and in the same year established her private studio. In 1995 she became a member of MTAC Hollywood Branch and she was elected as a President of the same branch from 1999 till 2001. She conducted numerous performances, recitals and concerts as a soloist and accompanist with students on stage. Currently Susanna Tarontsi continues her teaching and performing activities; she also gives lectures on musical themes, as well as acts in a quality of CM Evaluator and Judge, adjudicating various piano competitions.
Oct. 20th – 7:30pm – A Gospel Tribute to Pastors Andrae and Sandra Crouch
Featuring the gospel piano talents and voices of the New Christ Memorial COGIC Praise Team. Pastor Andrae and his sister Sandra are legends in the world of Gospel music and this is a night we honor Andrae’s legacy and Sandra’s continued legacy of inspiration and music. http://www.andraecrouch.com
Oct. 21st – 1:00pm – David Andersen – The Elements of a Great Piano
World renowned Steinway piano rebuilder discusses the elements of a great piano. David came to California to be rocker but along the way wound up being one of the most respected piano technicians in the country. David brings his unique perspective as a musician to his work. He will discuss what makes one piano better than another and what to look for when evaluating which piano to get. What are the different materials pianos are made form today and the arguments for one over another. Q&A to following the event.
Oct. 21st 3:00pm – David Andersen & Friends
David the world renowned piano technician has asked some of his pianist friend to join him for a live demonstration of the musical versatility of the Mason & Hamlin piano. Reception to follow.
Oct. 26th 7:30pm – Cecil Ramirez Renowned Jazz Recording Artist (Burbank location)
Oct. 27th 7:30pm – Cecil Ramirez (at the Pasadena location 2084 East Foothill, Pasadena)
Cecil Ramirez is an independent contemporary jazz artist, pianist and composer from Sacramento, California, USA. Over the past few years, he has been a headline artist for Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, Jazz On The Waterfront in Stockton, CA and Sax On The River in Sacramento, CA. For a fifth consecutive year, Cecil co-hosted the official Welcome Dinner for Napa Valley Jazz Getaway 2016, playing to a sold-out audience with host Brian Culbertson and guests artists Vincent Ingala, Marcus Anderson, and Morgan James. In October he surprised an enthusiastic audience, taking center stage with a successful debut show at the 30th annual Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival. Cecil just also happens to be the Mason & Hamlin National Sales Manager. We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s Pianofest with programs in both locations. http://cecilramirez.com
Oct. 28th 7:00pm – Fiona Joy – International Recording Artist
Fiona Joy is a classically-trained Australian pianist, vocalist, and composer at the forefront of the Contemporary New Age piano movement. As a recording artist, she self-releases via her own Little Hartley music, and pioneers as an audiophile recording artist for Blue Coast Music in the U.S. Her passionate original compositions and multiple albums have earned a MusicOz Award, an Independent Music Award, seven ZMR Music Awards, and a song on a Grammy® winning album. She toured throughout China in 2015 and 2016, where she was named the “Piano Angel” for her balletic style; she has also been honored to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Currently, she is a founding member of FLOW, a new age ensemble featuring Will Ackerman, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster; the group performs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on October 6, 2017. Visit FionaJoy.com and www.flowthegroup.com. Website http://www.fionajoy.com
Oct. 29th 7:00pm – Bryan Pezzone – “the multi faceted pianist”
BRYAN PEZZONE has been a freelance performing and recording artist in the Los Angeles area since 1987. He is known as a versatile performer who is comfortable in classical, contemporary and improvisational styles. He performs with composers and musicians as diverse as Pierre Boulez, John Williams, and John Adams, and records on countless film and television soundtracks. He is the pianist in the group Free Flight, a crossover classical/jazz quartet. These concerts feature many of his own compositions. In addition, Bryan has initiated a performing series that he calls “FREEDOM SERIES” which involves improvisations and verbal musings on life. He has been principal pianist in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra from its inception in 1991-1999 as well as the former chair and founder of the Multi-focused keyboard department at the California Institute of the arts from 1987- 2000. He abandoned both those positions in order of discovering new paths and is passionate about continuously redefining himself and his role as an artist, musician, and person in today’s complex and eclectic culture. We are very excited to have him here for the PianoFest. http://www.bryanpezzone.net
Oct. 30th 7:30pm – The Finale
Our PianoFest Finale will be filled with music from many artists food and special guests. Also it will be the final chance for Mason & Hamlin PianoFest 2017 factory rebates. Many of the artists who have played for us over the past 6 weeks will be on hand to answer questions, play pianos, and even helping to select a piano.