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 to me that I have met the piano representatives many times but you (the reader) most likely have not. And so, this is your chance to hear directly from each company. These are the people I meet every year at the NAMM show and doing interviews during this challenging year seemed like a great idea. Who knows, maybe this virtual trade show might turn into an annual event even when things open up again. If nothing else, I have learned about how powerful it is to hear the words direct from the source. You learn more interesting details and have an enriched sense about what the company is like by talking to the people who are directly involved. As I found out during these interviews was that music has flourished during the pandemic ~ one of the unexpected consequences of Covid.

When you click on each interview, it will open up a “lightbox”. You can also scroll then side to side by pressing on the arrows to view other videos and still images. Simply press the close X button in the right hand corner after viewing to return to this page.

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Slide

Meet the Company Representatives

I would like you to meet Chip Meyer – nicest guy ever and next generation for Renner USA. Son of Lloyd Meyer, a legend in the field of pianos and piano making, Lloyd established Renner USA. Renner is a long standing German maker of piano parts. When you open the lid of your piano and see the hammers move, there looks like a lot of levers and felt parts, right? Those are the action parts. Renner makes the finest quality piano parts in the world. Be sure to watch this interview as Chip Meyer actually shows you a cutaway of how the piano works. You can read more about Renner in this article.

Pearl River is the largest piano manufacturer in the world. I had the privilege of being invited to Guangzhou at the opening of their new factory in 2017. This interview is with Leng Tshua. We met for the first time at the 2020 trade show. He tells us about production at Pearl River, who also manufacture other lines of Ritmuller and Kayserburg. If you didn’t see last month’s feature story, we also talked about the world’s first 3D printed piano.

I mention in this next interview about my first interaction with a C.Bechstein. I was only 19 at the time and the college I attended purchased a C. Bechstein concert grand. Bechstein makes incredibly high quality instruments. During this interview, we meet Ralf Dewor and Christopher Lenz. They tell us a little of the history of Carl Bechstein and also detail the current lineup of C. Bechstein, W. Hoffmann and Zimmermann pianos. They also mention their latest VARIO silent piano system. BONUS! They’ve included some extra videos from the factory! Piano Price Point also did an article a few years back about their elaborate C. Bechstein Sphinx grand piano.

Yamaha is a household name. Talking with Russ Hirota we find out during this interview that historically about 1 in 4 pianos sold is a Yamaha! And while they also make motorcycles and boat motors, Russ reminds us of the humble beginnings of Yamaha. He also lays out for us the complete line of Yamaha grand pianos as well as speaks of the P22 upright piano re-design. You can check out our article called Yamaha SX Pianos with A.R.E. – a really innovative manufacturing process about aging wood.

Next up is the interview with Basilios Strmec. I travelled with Basilios to Ningbo, China to visit the Hailun piano factory. Hailun is appropriately named after Mr. Hailun and is one of the largest piano manufacturers in the world. New this year for Hailun are 2 production centers located in the USA – one in the East and one in the West. Listen to this interview if you would like to hear about how Hailun is raising the bar on finishing touches of the pianos entering the USA. If you want to see the article on Piano Price Point about the Hailun Factory, it can be found here. Also, here’s a virtual factory tour of Hailun Piano.

Cavendish Pianos are brand new to me. Adam and I have only conversed recently and their pianos have yet to be added to the pages of Piano Price Point (Coming Soon!). Adam tells us about traditional production piano making in the UK. It represents a time of manufacturing from yesteryear. With a staff of 8 and an annual production of around 50 pianos, Cavendish is generating a lot of news in the industry.

I was only 23 years of age when I got my first job in piano retail with a Baldwin Piano store (I won’t go into how many years ago that is…haha). Meet Tom Dorn. He’s the representative for Baldwin Piano. In this video, Tom tells us a little of the Baldwin history and what is happening today. He even shows us a picture of the new Baldwin factory in China. (When you click on the video below, click the side arrow to view). New to Baldwin is the Academy series. If you want to hear all about that, watch this video! On Piano Price Point, we also featured Baldwin in an article entitled Baldwin Piano ~ Then and Now.

Michael Spreeman is no stranger as a piano technician. Guest clinician and highly revered in his field, he builds the Ravenscroft line of pianos (named after Bob Ravenscroft, jazz musician). Ravenscroft Piano wins the award for the most news this year. Recent is their completion of the Ravenscroft Build Studio (included are some pictures) where they put together their magnificent pianos. In addition, they are months away from the completion of a performance venue called the Ravenscroft Building. And if that weren’t enough, Michael has been creating a new sample from the Ravenscroft 220 model grand piano after the incredible success of the Ravenscroft model 275 sample. You can learn all about that in the following video.

Schimmel Piano was supposed to celebrate their 135th anniversary during 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic created a delay in the proposed concert and celebrations but according to Rob Slayman, these will hopefully happen once the restrictions are lifted. Rob details the 4 lines of Schimmel pianos for us – the Konzert and Classic, made in Braunschweig, Germany, the Wilhelm Schimmel, made in Poland and Fridolin Schimmel, made in China by their strategic partner, Pearl River Piano Group. We did an article on this strategic alliance back in 2017.

Jay Cross joins us from Samick Piano. Many of you might know the fame of Samick guitars. Same company, different instrument. Samick historically has built hundreds of thousands of pianos. They’re a massive company. He tells us of the acquisition of Seiler in Germany and how many of the scale designs have come full circle in their productions from famous piano designer Klaus Fenner.

Finally, Shawn Bruce checks in from the Piano Technicians Guild. The PTG sets the standard for Piano Technicians across North America. During this time of Covid, Shawn shares 2 very helpful resources that affect piano care and piano tuning. Be sure to click the side arrows following the video to view these documents. If you’re having your piano tuned, you’ll want to see these.

And that’s a wrap for the first ever Virtual Piano Trade Show! I would like to express my thanks to all of the piano manufacturers who got on board with this. Trying something for the first time has its challenges. I’ve often said that I would rather play the piano in front of a large crowd than talk into a microphone! But thankfully I didn’t have to do much of the talking. Special thanks to all of those who participated.

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 ...
Read More

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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