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Trade Show Exclusive

This nickel plated Ritmüller is the only one in the nation (at the moment) and it’s here in our Burbank location

This all white piano came directly from the NAMM Show 20′ to our wonderful showroom

Come on in and give it a try, this truly is a magnificent one of a kind piano

The World's narrowest piano

With three white keys and two black and one pedal, composers would struggle to come up with a catchy tune.

The 3ft 9in piano is less than a foot wide and sold to the tune of £2,400

The sculpture is less than a foot wide – so even if sound were possible, you’d have to stand up to play it

The world’s narrowest piano only has 5 keys ????????5️⃣????

Ever wonder what John Lennon’s piano looked like? This is the piano he used to compose “Imagine”

This piano became integral to the creation of Lennon’s solo music and is best remembered today as the instrument on which he composed his visionary plea for world peace, “Imagine”.

It was bought in by George Michael when the owner put it up for Auction in 2000. He paid around $2 million for it. It had been in the Beatle’s Museum in Liverpool.

You can see the piano today on display at the MIM Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.

On December 15, 1970, Lennon purchased a Steinway Model Z upright piano and had it delivered to his home outside of London.

The Model Z piano was built by Steinway and Sons. Though a fairly ordinary upright piano made from ordinary walnut.

From Piano to Aquatic Tanks

RECYCLING ♻️THE GOOD ♻️THE BETTER ♻️THE BEST

Old Piano Uncycled into Aquarium – “Recycleart”????????????‍????

Yes these piano are actual working aquariums with live fish.???? ????????????

How would you recycle your old piano?

“When you put the whole picture together, recycling is the right thing to do.”

The Immortal Piano

It seems that “The Immortal Piano” is for sale on with a price tag of $2 million usd. Over the years this unique instrument has also been called: “The Siena Piano”, “The King’s Piano”, and “The Harp of David Piano”.

Album recordings of “The Siena (Immortal) Piano”

The intricate design included portraits of Handel, Mozart, Gluck, Artino and Cherubini. Multiple variations of classical symbols including cherubs, lions, gryphons, mascarons [masks], and arabesques [ornamental motifs] also appear. A detailed carving of the “Harp of David” [aka Kinnor David] features in the centre of the bottom panel.

The instrument has, rightly or wrongly, achieved legendary status over the years. This is primarily as a result of a semi-autobiographical book entitled The Immortal Piano, by Israeli piano technician Avner Carmi.

According to Carmi, the piano was conceived by Italian harpsichord maker Sebastiano Marchisio in Turin at the beginning of the 19th century

The Flying Fazioli

The Flying Fazioli, a truly incredible master-piece of design, was made for Vancouver House, a high-end mixed-use project located on Vancouver’s new waterfront Beach District.

The Fazioli Model F156 sits within the blackened steel casing

The only part of The Flying Fazioli that touches the ground is the stool. The piano itself floats. And this makes this instrument both visually remarkable and quite unique.

The piano slides with ease into the supporting structure!

The Flying Fazioli piano gives the illusion of floating in the air

Standing Grand Project

Sarah Nicolls launches an online campaign to fund the Standing Grand Project. It is aimed at the development of an upright piano that has a grand’s fullness of sound, but which is also compact, portable and lightweight.

To start the project they will use a combination of traditional materials (metals and woods) and advanced hi-tech composites. They have already made a strong lightweight strut capable of coping with the 30 tonnes of tension required to keep the strings of a piano taut.

The team plan to produce an acoustic standing grand that weighs just around 180 lbs and has the same works that of an upright piano. A typical grand weighs in at over 800 lbs.

A visualisation of a concept Standing Grand Piano, produced by Keechdesign in the UK

Nicolls, an experimental pianist and composer, has extreme experience in this area of work. She is well known for her development of the Inside-Out Piano (with the help of Pierre Malbos of course).

The Origami Fazioli

Ten years ago Fazioli, with the Canadian firm of architects McFarlane, Green and Biggar, designed a special edition piano for the Fairmont Hotel. This became known as The Fairmont Fazioli

The $225,000 white satin piano had many parts plated in18K gold, but the stand-out feature was the elaborate three-dimensional laser-cut walnut inlay inside the instrument’s lid.

Origami Master Joseph Wu was invited to contribute some ideas in the making of this piano.

The new Origami Fazioli and the original Fairmont Fazioli (inset)

A complex arrangement of raised pentagons adorns the casework

The Toy Piano Festival

Historic instruments from the Toy Piano Collection

Part of the Toy Piano Collection on display at a previous festival

The Geisel Library is the home of an extensive toy piano collection. It comprises instruments, commissioned scores, published literature and recording.

Cage was born on September 5th, 1912 and the annual festival is always held on or around this date.

Although defined as “toys” many of these pianos can be considered to be proper musical instruments.

Elvis Presley's 24-Karat Gold Piano

A 1928 Kimball Piano Company grand piano plated with 24K gold leaf and played by Elvis Presley while in the music room of his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee.

Elvis Presley’s gold piano with matching stool.

However, in 2015 the piano appeared at Julien’s Icons and Idols: Rock “n” Roll auction. Winning bid went for $610,000. The new owners would be the Hard Rock International and the piano is believed to be the their 80,000th piece of memorabilia.

The piano’s original finish was walnut, and it was once housed in the Dixon-Myers Hall.

Following Elvis’ death in 1977, Russ Kemppel, an Ohio businessman and collector, purchased the 24-karat gold leaf Kimball grand piano for $2 million.

EXXEO A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE OF PIANOS

EXXEO features a comprehensive 9 speaker 200-watt amplification system

EXXEO offers different finishes to suit various surroundings

EXXEO’s carbon fibre construction facilitates a bold new design

EXXEO’s “tail” houses a powerful battery power source

The Los Angeles-based design and engineering team led Iman Maghsoudi, has worked on the instrument for the past 3 years. And the results of their labour have just been unveiled.

Queen Victoria's 200th Anniversary Celebration Piano

Queen Victoria was born on 24 May 1819. And various exhibitions and festivities were taken place throughout 2019 to celebrate this 200th Anniversary. And pianos play their part.

As part of the 200th Anniversary, this piano will be taken from Buckingham Palace to the Royal Albert Hall, to feature at a special Promenade Concert.

Both Queen Victoria (r.1837-1901) and her husband Prince Albert were keen pianists.

Grand Piano by Isaac Mott. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Stephen Hough played the royal piano, and the concert took place in August of 2019.

Is There A Fortune Hidden In Your Piano?

This rare 1916 baseball card found inside an old piano, and featuring Babe Ruth, sold at auction for USD 130,000.

In 92′, Ellen Kelly of Maryland purchased the piano she played as a child from the estate of her late aunt. She paid just 25 dollars. The piano was neglected and she decided to have it looked over. And it was then the card, one of around 100, was found stuffed behind the pedals.

For 33 years the piano was owned by a local family. But, in 2016 they decided to donate it to a nearby college, who subsequently had the instrument tuned. And during the process, the gold coins were discovered under the keyboard. 

Back in 2017 a Shropshire (UK) based piano tuner found 913 gold coins in a 1904 Broadwood upright piano. These were estimated to be worth around half a million UK pounds (USD 650,000).

The Power of Color

Chromasoul is the latest art piece done by artist María Inés Aguirre

The pioneering Russian abstract artist Kandinsky suggested that colour is a power which directly influences the soul’.

Another close up shot of the abstract art on this beautiful Steinway.

Close up from above of Chromasoul’s lid showing the intricacies of the painting

Mia completing the bent side of Chromasoul. Oil paints made by Michael Harding are used throughout.

20 Instruments in 1

The modified keyboard and the locations of the various instruments

A heavily mic’ed up “Super-piano” remade with 20 instruments.

We often think of a hybrid as an acoustic and a digital piano, typically using an acoustic action to trigger digital sounds. But here we have a different kind of hybrid, and it is all acoustic, no electricity is used what so ever.

An old straight-strung piano has been transformed into a rare hybrid that now incorporates 20 other instruments all in one. And it is definitely a wow factor.

This “multi-instrument” was designed by the Ukrainian band Brunettes Shoot Blondes.

Una Corda Piano

An upright with just one string per note, instead of the usual three. As a result, this piano has a unique, more subtle and delicate sound, which many composers particularly desire. 

At present, there are Una Corda Pianos located at various studios and homes with many private clients in all over the world in places such as New York, Berlin, London, Dublin, Paris to name a few.

The Una Corda Piano was developed in conjunction with musician and composer Nils Frahm, and first appeared in June 2014.

David Klavins is a Hungarian piano designer who breaks all the traditional conventions of the piano design and construction.

One string per note, wow isn’t that just amazing.

Piano Shaped Swimming Pools

The late great pianist Liberace’s swimming pool, located at his home in Sherman Oaks, California.

The swimming pool at Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate, in Palm Springs, California.

Well, strategically positioned in the back yard is a substantial, piano-shaped swimming pool, complete with 88 “note” tiled keyboard, and a treble clef motif on the bottom.

One of the music themed swimming pools at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort in Orlando Florida. Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

The Paboreal Boutique Hotel’s piano-shaped pool with 88 keys.

The 200 year old Beethoven Broadwood

The Beethoven Broadwood, manufactured in London in 1817

Broadwood is the world’s oldest surviving piano firm. It was founded in 1728. The company has held a Warrant for supply and maintenance of pianos to the various British Royal Households

The Broadwood grand piano arrived at Beethoven’s Viennese summer residence in May 1818, and instantly became the composer’s favoured instrument.

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist; his music is amongst the most performed of the classical repertoire, and he is one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. His works span the transition from the classical period to the romantic era in classical music.

Despite this ill-treatment, the piano still exists, and features in this year’s 200th Anniversary celebrations, which are taking place across Europe.

Drake’s New Concert Grand Piano

One of the three Murakami Bösendorfer 280VC

Very vibrant colors on this beautiful piano.

Interior piano designed none other than Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

This isn’t Drakes first collaboration with the famed Japanese artist, here he is seen wearing a Ovo sweatshirt designed by Murakami.

Takashi Murakami in front of one of his many art pieces.

The Grandest of the Grands

The Alma-Tadema Steinway Piano with original stools, well worth over 1 million usd.

“The Wandering Minstrels” by Sir Edward J. Poynter adorns the fallboard.

Alma-Tadema commissioned Sir Edward J Poynter to paint the fallboard, which features a group of girls dancing to a band of musicians. The painting is known as “The Wandering Minstrels”. This, and the music rest are uncommonly evocative elements of this instrument.

The original music room of the Alma-Tadema piano.

The instrument is a Steinway D-274 (serial number 54538). Alma-Tadema collaborated with London furniture designers Johnstone, Norman and Co. in the design of the piano.

Purple Pantone Piano For Prince

Prince’s custom Yamaha grand piano.

The Pantone Color Institute has released a new standardised custom colour inspired by the purple piano Yamaha made for Prince.

Prince’s Pantone Yamaha in his studio, custom to his likeness.

Pantone: Love Symbol #2

Custom color behind this piano a mixture of 4 purples to create this shade.

The artist known as Prince next to his custom Pantone Yamaha.

A TRUE WORK OF ART

Fazioli’s “Ferrari Red” F308 Marco Polo.

Steinway’s “Picture at an Exibition” Art-case piano. 

Smithsonian American Art Museum – Piano 1903 Steinway & Sons – Lid painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing – Washington DC 2012

Fazioli’s black F183 Marco Polo grand piano on display at Music China 2019.

The lid features a painting of the Piazza San Marco, Venice, looking eastwards towards the Campanile.

BLING! BLING! Liberace’s Blingtastic Upright Piano

Julien’s Auctions is selling a very unique upright piano once owned and played by Liberace. The instrument features in their upcoming Music Icon Auction.

“LIBERACE” is spelt out in rhinestones on the nameboard. And inside the lid, the pianist has signed the instrument and drawn his famous grand-piano-with-candelabra motif.  Dated to the year 1978.

The sale price is estimated at $20,000 – $40,000. Which is definitely a steal for this piece of historic memorabilia owned by one of the greatest pianist and entertainer of this generation.

As you can see, the piano has been decorated in a most flamboyant manner in keeping with Liberace’s unique extravagant style.

Liberace and Debbie Reynolds singing their duet “I Don’t Need Anything but You” once performed on this magnificent instrument.

The World's Smallest Grand Piano

Giving new meaning to the name “baby grand,” “Grand Pianist” features 88 tiny keys that you can (barely) play by yourself. It also includes an SD port and several pre-recorded songs that pour out of a small speaker.

Despite being only 4mm wide, each key works just as on a real piano

The manufacturers at Sega, have coined the world’s smallest grand piano clocking in at an astonishing 9.8 inches.

Japanese pianist Maiko Ichiyanagi displays the world’s smallest ‘Grand Pianist.’

Trio of women play the world’s smallest grand piano at the headquarters of its creator Sega Toys Co. in Tokyo Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006

The World's Largest Piano

The largest piano measured 2.495 m (8 ft 2 in) in width, 6.07 m (19 ft 10 in) in length and 1.925 m (6 ft 3 in)in height and was constructed by Daniel Czapiewski (Poland) and played in a concert at Szymbark, Poland, on 30 December 2010.

Pianos usually have 88 keys. This record-breaking behemoth has 156 of them!

The construction of the instrument oversaw outstanding master of piano construction – Józef Wilk from piano factory in Kalisz (Poland). The instrument was modeled on “Steinway & Sons” soundboard. Bass strings made by special calculations and wound on an extendable winder. The mechanism hammer type Renner. In the production of the piano used various species of seasoned wood, among others: alpine spruce (resonance), birch, pine, hornbeam, mahogany, bubinga.

This is Daniel Czapiewki, but sadly, died on 3 Dec 2013. A gifted wood-worker and friend of Guinness World Records.

The instrument was designed to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Frederic Chopin.

7-Year-Old Piano Prodigy Shares Performances with Medical Workers

Just like many 7-year-olds, Xiaoyan Liu, of Great Neck, New York, loves being outside and drawing, but her time spent tickling the ivory sets her apart from other kids her age.

And when the covid19 pandemic began, Lele wanted to use her talent to thank those she calls the health care heroes. She sent videos of herself playing the piano to “Sing For Hope”, a nonprofit that transforms lives by using the power of the arts to create a better world. 

Whether it’s classical music, pop or jazz.  Lele’s personality and true talent can leave just about anyone in amaze. 

This 7-year-old girl from Long Island brings joy to health care workers by sharing her talents on the piano. The prodigy has garnered national attention for her skills.

Xiaoyan, who goes by the stage name Lele, which means happy in Chinese, started playing piano when she was just 3. By age 5, she had received national and international recognition in competitions. Since then, she has continued making a name for herself.

Today is Juneteenth! Happy Freedom Day!

Alicia Keys and John Legend’s duelling piano battle to celebrate Juneteenth 06/19/20.

Alicia Keys performs in Times Square on October 9, 2016 in New York City.

John Legend performance during the Covid19 social distancing to help promote #TogetherAtHome 

John Legend pictured playing his Ohio Buckeyes custom upright piano in is home back in 2011.

Alicia Keys playing this beautiful upright piano live in concert 2016.

Let Me Plant One On Ya!

The Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona filled its nearly 2,300 seats with plants for a June 22 concert, which was also broadcast online. When Barcelona’s Liceu opera opened on Monday for its first concert since mid-March, it did so to a full house — of plants.

Spain ended its national state of emergency on Sunday, lifting a lockdown that had been in place for three months. According to the country’s phased-in reopening plan, establishments such as theaters and cinemas can operate with capacity restrictions.

Organizers wrote that they wanted to recognize the work of health care providers, who have served “on the toughest front in a battle unprecedented for our generations.”

The Gran Teatre del Liceu filled its 2,292 seats with plants for a performance by the UceLi Quartet, which it called a prelude to its 2020-2021 season.

The plants came from local nurseries and will be donated along with a certificate from the artist to 2,292 health care professionals, specifically at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

Rare Francois-Rupert Carabin Masterwork Returned to France

Carabin is primarily known for his ceramic and bronze sculptures but it is his rare furniture commissions that garner the most attention.

The piano was created in 1900 for the French comedic actor Coquelin Cadet by the Herz piano firm and was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.

His last major piece to hit the auction block, to my knowledge, was just over a decade ago and realized $427,500 at Christie’s New York.

It may have taken some seventy years, but the piano now has pride of place at the Musee alongside the masterworks of Majorelle, Galle, Serrurier-Bovy et al.

Carabin was not as successful at integrating his sculptural forms into a piece of furniture as say Emile Galle, but nonetheless his works are dramatic and exceedingly rare.

French 19th Century Napoleon III

French cabinetmaker, who gave his name to a fashion of inlaying known as Boulle or Buhl work. The son of Jean Boulle, a member of a family of ebenistes who had already achieved distinction – Pierre Boulle, who died c. 1636, was for many years tourneur et menuisier du roy des cabinets d’ebene, – he became the most famous of his name and was, indeed, the second cabinet-maker – the first was Jean Mace – who has acquired individual renown.

The gilt-bronze figures of the Seasons on the Wildenstein meubles d’appui are cast from models first used by Boulle for a set of bas d’armoires with two doors, a pair of which, seized during the Revolution from the Noailles family, is now at Versailles.

A French 19th Century Napoleon III Ebonized and Ormolu Mounted Single-Front-Door “Boulle” Style Side Cabinet with Marble top, After the antique in the manner of André Charles Boulle (1642-1732). Circa: 1880.

This association of Boulle furniture and cabinets d’amateurs lasted well into the early, XIXth century.

The neoclassical Boulle bas d’armoires used old elements (coming from the cannibalised tall wardrobes or cabinets), such as tortoiseshell marquetry and bronze motifs (mainly figural), applied on a modern breakfront structure following the tripartite division invented by Boulle.

17th Century Harpsichords

An Italian Harpsichord 17TH C. – May 25, 2011 | Jackson’s Auction in IA

Debedan a two-manual harpsichord

A clavicembalo a due manuali realizzato da Hieronymus Albrecht Hass.

2nd half of the 17th century Place of origin: Italy

This beautiful hand painted cabinet and lid from the 2nd half of the 17th Century.

Outdoor Painted Pianos

Gracie On Victoria Island

Cambridge, UK, 2012

Denver, USA, 2011

Boston, USA, 2013

Ghent, Belgium

The World’s Largest Upright Piano

After years of meticulous construction David Klavins will unveil to the world the Klavins M450 Vertical Concert Grand, a 4.5 metre tall vertical piano.

The massive Klavins Model 450 at the company’s Vác facility played by Amanda Bloom, who visited the facility.

The design of a piano is a compromise. To produce a lower pitched (bass) note, a string needs to be either: (i) thicker; (ii) longer; or (iii) under less tension. But options (i) and (iii) degrade the quality of the sound.

Longer strings enable due corde (the striking of two strings per note) in the bass octaves

The pianist sits on a platform 3 metres (10 ft) above the ground. The total height of the instrument is 4.5 metres (14’ 9”), and it weighs 980 kg. A Steinway Model D, buy comparison, is 2.74 metres (8’ 11-3/4”) long and weighs 480kg.

Butterfly Pianos

Most, butterfly pianos are symmetrical grands. They get their name from the two-part “winged” lid which gives the piano a butterfly appearance. They are attractive to look at but the symmetrical grand is to some extent a compromised instrument.

More recently Edelweiss Pianos has championed the butterfly piano with their C50 and Elmer instruments. Their designs, however, are far less art-deco and far more 21st-century contemporary.

This has a split top-board with hinges again running perpendicular to the keyboard rather than parallel, thus producing a butterfly effect.

Wurlitzer Model 235 Butterfly piano with the bass “wing” removed.

Orchestral Upright Grand Piano, c1950 (L) and Perpendicular Grand Piano c1934 (R). Both made by Morley, London.

The LEGO Piano

A grand piano has over 10,000 individual parts — the new LEGO Piano uses 3662 “bricks”.

 It’s also quite a spectacular model when complete, and would be something of a talking point in any home.

The LEGO Piano controlled by the Powered Up app.

The LEGO Ideas Grand Piano set, to give it its official name, has been in development for several years. It was initially conceived by music teacher and LEGO enthusiast Donny Chen, and made it to market thanks to the LEGO Ideas platform.

Chen’s original prototype utilised 2798 bricks. Whilst, as mentioned, the final production instrument has 3662.

Elvis Presley’s Famous White Piano

Elvis purchased the piano, a grand built in 1912 by Wm. Knabe and Co., in 1957 for $818.85. He refurbished it and installed it in the music room at Graceland.

The piano is to be unveiled on December 16th as part of Graceland’s first ever Holiday Concert Weekend. Graceland have been restoring the music room to its former 1960s glory, and the piano will take pride of place.

Elvis with the 1912 Knabe baby grand he had refurbished.

Graceland have now announced that they are the new owners of the instrument. It is not clear whether they were the eBay bidder, or purchased it following the sale.

A statement on the piano reads: “It was played constantly by Elvis and many friends for practice sessions, friendly sing alongs and untold numbers of jam sessions by Elvis and visiting celebrities to Graceland and became one of Elvis’s most loved, personal musical instruments.”

LOOK HOW LONG THIS PIANO IS!

In 2009 the Alexander piano was, arguably, the largest piano in the world. It was build by Adrian Mann in a friend’s farm shed in Dunedin, New Zealand. Incredibly Mann was just 20 when he completed the instrument.

The epic proportions of the Alexander piano, nexts to a home is huge.

Such is the size of the Alexander piano that half the orchestra is obsured.

Daniel Czapiewski’s “Stolëmowi Klawér”, in Poland, officially holds the title of “The World’s Largest Piano”, but the Alexander piano can still claim to be the world’s longest single manual piano.

Mann currently runs a piano business (sales, tuning, restoration etc.) in Dunedin, and the Alexander piano now resides in the company’s showroom. 

88 PIANIST & ONE PIANO

The difficulty of seeing 88 separate pianists perform an acoustic piano at the same time. This will be an unbreakable world record (pianos have 88 notes *). How did it work out?

There is one further “Tubalicious Invention” mechanism. This activates the sustain pedal remotely with hydraulics and a set of ping-pong balls in blue. Some of the mechanical fingers on the piano viewed.

A Steinway Model D Grand Piano was fastened to the various mechanical fingers. Composer and keyboardist Martin Riley played a piece, called “Leomortal,” in front of over 500 leading engineers.
Professor Julian Allwood at the Department of Engineering University of Cambridge developed the group, appropriately named 88 Pianists. And it was solved by inviting 2,500 children of primary
school ages 7 to 10 to design 88 different mechanical fingers. 35 Primary schools were active from around the UK.
The last 12 months the pupils have spent coming up with ideas. And these were constructed subsequently with the help of various departments of university engineering.

Pianodrome Crowdfunding Campaign

The Pianodrome is an amphitheatre made from over 50 unwanted pianos. And the structure includes five actual working instruments.

The Pianodrome currently is a temporary structure. It has to be reassembled every time it is used and this is a massive job. With most of this year’s Edinburgh Festival being cancelled, the Pianodrome is currently being locked away in storage, thus generating no essential revenue.
So now the two founders Tim Vincent-Smith and Matt Wright are looking to find a permanent indoor home in Edinburgh on the Pianodrome. That will ensure it can be used during the year as a multi-arts venue and the project can become financially stable. It will also allow the founders across the UK to
develop similar schemes, saving countless unwanted pianos from the dump.
The Pianodrome has hosted over 250 acts over the past few years, and has accommodated over 20,000 members of the audience. It has appeared in various locations in Scotland. In 2019 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the Pianodrome won the Creative Carbon Scotland Sustainable award for Best Venue.

The world’s first amphitheatre made entirely from up-cycled pianos.  Such a great way to let go of a piano, and re-use it for an other creative purpose.

BEAT THE HEAT!

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Jorge Federico Osorio

National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. In honor we would like to celebrate some of the biggest latin pianist

Jorge Federico Osorio was born in Mexico City into a musical family. His first teachers were his father, a violinist, and his mother, noted pianist Luz María.

Osorio is the recipient of many international prizes, including the Rhode Island International Master Piano Competition and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Gina Bachauer Award.

Jorge Federico Osorio performs at the Wallis in Beverly Hill 2018.

Jorge Federico Osorio performing the music of Soler, Albeniz, Debussy, Liszt and Beethoven at Alice Tully Hall on a Monday night on January 22, 2007.

Requiem for Pianos

Classical photographer and pianist Romain Thiery has spent the past decade moving across Europe documenting beautiful pictures of abandoned pianos.
In France, Spain, Italy, Belgium , Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania he has photographed forgotten instruments.
And the focus of his work are these once-commanding instruments abandoned in once glorious settings (both sadly ruined by time).
He has now released these images in a sumptuous new hardback volume, with explanatory text.
Thiery visits abandoned country houses, forgotten castles, crumbling theaters and all kinds of ruined properties, frequently finding an antique piano left to rust in a rotting home.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Technically speaking, J.S. Bach was not actually a pianist. He was first and foremost an organist, as well as a harpsichordist.

He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor.

Bach’s genius was so comprehensive that he was able to improvise six-voiced fugues!

However, Bach did play several early pianos built by Gottfried Silbermann, who studied early piano (“hammer harpsichord”) designs by the piano’s inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori (see Who Invented the Piano?).

Bach did not like Silbermann’s first piano making efforts of the early 1730s, though he went on to give his later pianos his wholehearted approval.

Piano Sanctuaries. Good or Bad?

This is a location where pianos are put and permitted over a period of time to decay naturally. Visitors (passers-by) are invited to play the instruments and learn how time and deterioration alter their appearance and tonal characteristics.
Some people welcomed the piano sanctuary concept back in Murray Bridge, others were horrified, comparing the planned sanctuary to a glorified dumping ground. The local council agreed that a consultation period was necessary.
But what are you thinking? In your neighborhood, will you accept a piano sanctuary? Is re-cycling maybe a better option? Is this art, or is it a legalized dump site?
The first ruined piano sanctuary in the world was built in 2005 in Australia. At the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, the composer and artist Ross Bolleter set up an installation of ruined pianos.
Interestingly, there is a distinction between a piano that is destroyed and a damaged one. Despite the extent of weathering, a ruined piano maintains the dignity of the instrument and can be played normally, but with irregular tuning, broken soundboard, and a failing action. A devastated instrument has begun to disintegrate and may not be playable at all, although it is still likely to be able to produce sounds.

The Piano Mill

A tall copper-clad timber frame tower, the Piano Mill houses 16 pianos obtained from the local surroundings. Audiences sit around the tower’s bass and are able to see the performers through transparent glass.
The pianos themselves aren’t instruments of showroom quality. Some have been locally sourced, others are fully playable, while others suffer from varying degrees of dilapidation. In addition, some were “prepared” for a wider timbral palette to be offered.
The project honors the piano ‘s significance to Australia’s early European settlers. And the connections between music and the environment, heritage, art and architecture are highlighted as well.
The sound comes from the building’s bass and from a set of external louvres (shutters) mounted within the walls. Like an out-sized Venetian swell (a mechanism used by some harpsichord manufacturers), these can be used to modulate the pitch.
The Piano Mill was opened in 2016 in partnership with architect Bruce Wolfe (Conrad Gargett),
composer / pianist Erik Griswold and percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson.

Lenny Kravitz Grand Piano

A new limited-edition grand piano designed by the legendary musician Lenny Kravitz has been unveiled by Steinway & Sons. This may seem an unusual partnership, what can they be up to.
Ten of these instruments are manufactured by Steinway, including one for Kravitz ‘s Paris home. Each will cost $500,000, and a portion of the purchase price will go to the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) in New York, where Kravitz was a student once.
It took over three years to make this piano come true. Kravitz notes that he encountered a sincere, and very refreshing, “can do” attitude when he took his designs to Steinway. There was nothing unthinkable.
And the effects of this remarkable instrument are plain to see.
The rim itself is made from 15 hard rock maple layers, completed with an ebony veneer from Makassar (Macassar). This is Indonesia ‘s precious brown and black striped wood, commonly used for high-end furniture. It is also used to make fretboards and bodies for guitars as well!

The solid brass lyre (left) and one of the legs (right) from the Kravitz Grand

WORLD"s FIRST 3D PRINTED PIANO!

Beethoven’s Broadwood Bicentenary

Back in 1817, Thomas Broadwood met the 47 year old Beethoven in Vienna. Upon discovering that the famed composer was almost deaf and somewhat impoverished, Broadwood decided to give Beethoven a new grand piano. At that time an English grand was noticeably louder than any of the Viennese instruments used by Beethoven.

Beethoven’s Broadwoood: Specifications

This is one of the most famous early grand pianos. Broadwood’s pianos were now much stronger. The string tension of this instrument would be at least half as much again as in a piano of 1805.

Broadwood is the world’s oldest surviving piano firm. It was founded in 1728. The company has held a Warrant for supply and maintenance of pianos to the various British Royal Households since the reign of George II (1683-1760). It can name among its customers the composers Haydn, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams.

“My dearest friend Broadwood,
“I have never felt a greater pleasure than that given me by the anticipation of the arrival of this piano, with which you are honouring me as a present. I shall regard it as an altar on which I shall place my spirit’s most beautiful offerings to the divine Apollo. As soon as I receive your excellent instrument, I shall send you the fruits of the first moments of inspiration I spend at it, as a souvenir for you from me, my very dear B., and I hope that they will be worthy of your instrument.
“My dear sir and friend, accept my warmest consideration, from your friend and most humble servant,
Louis Van BeethovenVienna, 3rd February 1818.”

Chopstix The Talking Piano

If you haven’t already done so, please watch Mark Rober’s incredible YouTube video (below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBEL3YVzMwk&t=76s

This is an incredible film, and Mark Rober deserves praise for his entertaining yet instructive presentation. I believe it is only fair to all parties involved to mention that this one-of-a-kind movie is sponsored by the problem-solving website Brilliant.org.

The little issue here is that each note produced by a piano is a rich blend of harmonics rather than a pure sine wave. However, math (math—US) can allow for this to some extent.

Each note in the PianoDisc Prodigy system has a whopping 1024 levels of expression. Chopstix uses this resolution to piece together genuine words.

The PianoDisc self-playing system on Edelweiss pianos can trigger up to 30 notes at once.
However, for the video, Rober required the piano to play all 88 notes at the same time.
To accommodate this request, the engineers at PianoDisc upgraded the software of their Prodigy piano player system.

The video starts off with a quick explanation of how pianos and player pianos work.
It’s well done, but most pianists are aware of this.
However, the section about getting the piano to talk/sing is brand new.


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