Sauter-Vivace-Grand-PianoThis year in sunny Anaheim, California, the NAMM show once again had a fantastic display of beautiful pianos. From inexpensive to opulent, there are pianos for everyone to see and enjoy. Fazioli-Art-Case-GrandPresent this year (in alphabetical order of brand): Baldwin, Bluthner, Bösendorfer, Brodmann, Emerson, Fazioli, Geyer, Grotrian, Hailun, Hallet Davis, Hardman, Irmler, Kawai, Kayserburg, Knabe, Mason & Hamlin, Mendelssohn, Niendorf, Pearl River, Perzina, Ravenscroft, Ritmuller, Samick, Sauter, Schimmel, Schulze Pollmann, Schumann, Seiler, Wilh. Steinberg, Steinway, Weber, Yamaha and Young Chang. In the eye candy department, there were incredibly artistic grand pianos from both Sauter and Fazioli. And these spectacular instruments are as beautiful to play as they are to look at. Speaking of cosmetics, Samick Johannes-Seiler-Birdseye-MapleSauter-Peter-Maly-Uprightdisplayed a bird’s eye maple red Johannes Seiler piano which was visually striking. And where credit is due, again, Sauter’s upright took the prize for fashion statement, designed by Peter Maly. Both Steinway and Grotrian companies presented satin pianos with high gloss fallboards. The contrast is beautiful. Grotrian’s textured matt finish is a welcome alternative to the myriad of gloss finishes today. New at the show this year was a company called Niendorf – a re-established name and company located in Germany. The Schumann piano line (formerly part of Sejung and later Welkin Sound) also was released under new American ownership and distribution. Hailun Piano debuted their first Emerson grand piano – soon to be released as a full line of pianos this year. Pearl River has expanded their upper end piano line Kayserburg with several new models and have included Renner options.

Yamaha Promotion
Yamaha Promo
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Piano Music for the Young @ Heart

Hailun-iPianoGrotrian, in 2017 debuted Friedrich Grotrian, a piano line whose frame, cabinet and strings are built in China and then finished in Germany. This year, they displayed Wilhelm Grotrian, a piano completely made with Grotrian specifications in China. An aside: Grotrian has the coolest slow-close “button” fallboard in the industry. Similarly, Wilhelm Steinberg has followed suit with instruments built in Germany and separate models built in China but also with Renner options.

In technology as it relates to pianos, QRS unveiled a tiny but incredibly powerful device simply called Connect which allows you to record, upload to a cloud and connect for purposes of teaching evaluation or collaboration. Hailun presented their first iPiano with interactivity. Connected by bluetooth, the piano features teaching tools and exercises in hopes that there’s more BOB effect… I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of it either… it stands for Butts On Benches. In other words, the hope is that with technology, kids will experiment, will play and engage with the piano and spend more time on the bench.

In other news, Pearl River is finishing their expansion to complete the largest piano factory in the world, exceeding 140,000 pianos annually. ETA will hopefully be some time in May. Boutique maker, Ravenscroft is also forging ahead with new plans but I’m sworn to secrecy 🙂 This year, the Piano Technician’s Guild (PTG) also displayed historic pianos and tools as well. At first glance, the Chickering piano on the right seemed like just another old piano until Shawn Bruce of the PTG told me to read the historic significance. It was the piano on stage present at the Ford Theatre when Lincoln was assassinated. Incredible.
Steinway, Story & Clark (QRS) as well as Yamaha presented digital player pianos. I’ll leave you with a piano that Yamaha displayed – an interesting and interactive piano. The purpose? Just to connect sound with visual. You can actually see the amplitude waves as you play. Such fun!


Virtual Piano Trade Show

First Ever Virtual Piano Trade Show

It’s hard to believe that one year ago I was standing in a crowd in the Anaheim Convention Center for the annual NAMM show. It’s where most of the music manufacturers show their wares and latest offerings. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 show was cancelled and so I thought that this would be a great time to adapt and bring about a Virtual Piano Trade Show.In hosting this Virtual Piano Trade Show, it occurred ...
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Kayserburg 3D Printed Grand Piano

It’s obvious that car makers in the 60’s were looking at the birth of air travel as the way of the future. Hood ornaments and emblems were symbols of flight with angelic creatures or airplanes. Tail-lights like jet engines were positioned on top of side “wings” and the trim, made to look aerodynamic. All of this had a purpose of course; it pointed to future thinking, an association with flight. Just as there was a ...
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Mason & Hamlin VX-94 Concert Grand Piano

It’s not every day a new concert grand gets unveiled. In my mind, concert grands are the Formula 1 pianos where a company invests the very best in technology, materials and workmanship to present their utmost to the world. This year at the NAMM show (pre-covid in January 2020), I had the opportunity to play the newly released VX-94 concert grand from Mason & Hamlin. What surprised me about this piano was the response. I ...
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How Old Is Too Old?

Nothing beats a new piano and Piano Price Point is dedicated to delivering the news about the makers of new pianos. But sometimes they are simply unaffordable, inaccessible or possibly even discontinued and so it necessitates buying used. But that begs the question, how old is too old? At what point do pianos no longer function the way they were originally intended? In my lifetime I’ve viewed and played several thousand pianos and as I ...
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Interview with Udo Steingraeber

You don’t need to look at the artist page of Steingraeber Piano for too long before you start to realize that their pianos are highly sought after and prized by world renown pianists. It begs the question, what are they experiencing that compels them to perform on their pianos? What goes into a Steingraeber piano that sets it above others? I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting down with Udo Steingraeber at this last ...
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Public Domain Sheet Music

If there were one word that I would use to describe myself it’s tactile. When I’m not in the garage working on a project, quite often I’m in the kitchen and if I’m not in the kitchen, I’m doing something related to the piano. I suppose that it’s due to the fact that I like to be active and that quite often tactile activities have tangible results. One of my pastimes (I know, it’s a ...
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