Lance involved in local piano series for the young!

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18359
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Lance involved in local piano series for the young!

Post by Lance » Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:10 am

On November 3rd, 2007, a newly-formed non-profit enterprise called Classical Pianists of the Future, fully registered with the IRS and New York State powers-to-be, will have their innaugural concert with Russian pianist Anna Maimine. She will perform in the auditorium of Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, New York on a fully restored 1913 Bechstein concert grand piano.

It's funny how things come about. A few years ago, I met a gentlemen who lives in this fine little suburb of Binghamton, New York, not far from me, because I was hailed to come and tune his grand piano. We became instant friends, and because of this gentleman, last September I was invited to be the resident piano technican for the 1000 Islands International Piano Competition for Young People held in Cape Vincent, New York, right alongside the St. Lawrence River where one can view the shores of Canada directly across this busy body of water. Williams is co-director of the Cape Vincent competition. It looks like I will be involved with the competition again this year. But I digress ...

As things go, working with Mr. Alvin H. Williams III and developing an outstanding friendship with him and his wife - and given Williams' overwhelming enthusiasm for wanting to see young pianists have an opportunity to perform, Classical Pianists of the Future was born. Our age limit is 29 and that embraces a lot of serious pianists.

It is our intention to provide two concerts per year for young pianists from anywhere in the USA/Canada. The young artists will receive what might be described as a decent honorarium for playing. Two people will be doing all the leg work: yours truly and Alvin H. Williams III.

We are both committed to this venture. Funding? Well, we're preparing literature and hope to garner enough dollars to take us through two recitals, the other of which is in March 2008. People are always talking about how deficient of the arts are our young people, but from what I've seen, just with pianists, the world is full of young people wanting to pursue a musical performing career. This is our way of helping to make it happen.

I just thought the CMG crowd might be interested to learn about this new venture where your moderator is co-director.
Last edited by Lance on Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Werner
CMG's Elder Statesman
Posts: 4223
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: Irvington, NY

Post by Werner » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:57 am

Lance, any such program that has you as its guiding spirit is bound to do important things. Lots of luck!
Werner Isler

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9806
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:16 am

As we say in Kansas, groovimondo!

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:20 pm

Great! Good luck!!
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Gregg
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:16 am

Post by Gregg » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:25 pm

That's great Lance, if you ever take the show on the road to NYC give me some advance word, please.

Starting up a non-profits is no picnic.



Gregg

Agnes Selby
Author of Constanze Mozart's biography
Posts: 5568
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:27 am
Location: Australia

To Lance

Post by Agnes Selby » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:36 pm

Dear Lance,

I was most interested to read about your new venture and have sent
your posting to Kathy. She too will be most interested to read it.

Most Australian artists, perhaps all of them, have participated in Eisteddfods which are competitions for young artists. Kathy has participated in Eisteddfods from an early age as have artists such as Joan Sutherland, Richard Boninge, Melba, just to mention a few.
Today the festival takes place at the Sydney Opera House and it is delightful to see childred enjoying this privilege.

Equally, Eisteddfods are held in Melbourne and all capital cities, even in country centers one of which gave a start to the great opera singer, Melba's career.

Kind regards,
Agnes.
----------------

CharmNewton
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:47 pm

Lance, it sounds like a wonderful venture. Best wishes, and please keep us tuned in.

Is there an interesting history to the piano? Inaugural of Woodrow Wilson? Played by Teddy Roosevelt or FDR? I'm sure it has seen and felt some interesting fingers.

John

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18359
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Lance » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:54 am

CharmNewton wrote:Lance, it sounds like a wonderful venture. Best wishes, and please keep us tuned in.

Is there an interesting history to the piano? Inaugural of Woodrow Wilson? Played by Teddy Roosevelt or FDR? I'm sure it has seen and felt some interesting fingers.

John
Many thanks, John. Yes, we do have our work cut out for us. I appreciate your good wishes and I will let you know how it goes.

As for the Bechstein piano, here's how it came to Binghamton, New York. I was visiting my sister in Atlanta two years ago when I got a call from two people simultaneously (conference call), one was the conductor of our orchestra here, and the other a piano-loving man, formerly the owner of two Baldwin nine-foot concert grands. (One was destroyed in a fire and it was replaced by a new one. I was the caretaker of the new one.) They wanted me to check out a Bechstein concert grand out in the boondocks of Atlanta. I agreed. Not knowing the area (and not having a GPS system at the time), I managed to drive an hour-and-a-half and find the place selling the piano. It was a house where the owner bought and sold pianos, mostly European pianos that were ancient and were often fixed up and sold. I also found myself in the middle of Atlanta's well-known traffic jams on a Friday afternoon, traffic bumper-to-bumper in both directions.

I was led to the man's living room where suddenly, this Bechstein concert grand, which dominated the room, met me head on. It looked brand new, high-gloss black. It was made in 1913 and completely retored in Germany from a new soundboard, pin-block, action, hammers, strings, case, pedals, hardware, etc., et al. Naturally, I gave it a thorough checkout, played it, and was intrigued by the typical German bass (more "woody" than American pianos) which seemed bottomless in resonance. The treble was crystal clear and "singing." The piano was beautifully matched in all areas from low A to high C.

I placed a call back home and said: "My first duty is to you, but if you don't buy this piano, I will." (I was serious and would have had to do some fancy footwork to come up with the cash on such short notice.) But based on my appraisal, he bought it.

I was there to see the delivery once I got home, and a few months later, the owner decided it was too fine an instrument to have in his dining room (it took half the room!), and decided to place it, with my continued care, where it now has a permanent (but on loan) home.

I have not been able to gather any information about the piano except that it went through two world wars, but was made prior to The Great War. The Bechstein firm was a major force in Europe and was used by Liszt, Chopin, and many others and became a "favorite" among pianists. When World War II broke out, Helene Bechstein, who married into the family, became a devoted friend of Adolf Hitler. She supported his cause, had dinners with him, invited him to parties, and she made no bones about it. When WW II concluded, most of the Jewish artists who had a preference for Bechstein pianos would no longer play them. However, all of this had nothing to do with the 1913 Bechstein in our presence; it had no knowledge (yet) of Hitler and his atrocities. After the war, Bechstein seemed to decline for several reasons: first, their factories were destroyed during the war (and with it some of their piano-building secrets), but Helene Bechstein's involvement with Hitler almost put the firm out of business. The piano has always been recognized as one of the preeminent pianos of world. The American Baldwin Piano Company bought Bechstein in 1963, allowing the German firm to have their autonomy and sold it back to the Germans in 1986. Bechstein has had their ups-and-downs ever since and within the last several years have tried to regain their prominence, which they have done to some degree. Like those who acquire Steinway pianos, buyers are looking for the older pianos, which pianists believe have a better sound. The same is true for Bechstein. With the emergence of the Chinese and Koreans now building pianos, this has very much upset the international piano market. Great companies such as Kawai and Yamaha have been affected, and certainly the great Baldwin name. Steinway probably feels a bit of a crunch, not from the Chinese or Korean makers, but from Kawai and Yamaha, both of whom are making great strides in the art of building pianos. Fazioli is also finding its place on the piano scene. Bösendorfer is holding its own, but mostly in Europe and England. Steinway continues to dominate.

The Bechstein piano was the preferred piano by Artur Schnabel (who used Bechstein on all his legendary Beethoven recordings, and I believe for his Schubert as well). Gieseking played Bechstein, as did Jorge Bolet, but only when he was in Europe. Otherwise they played Baldwin in the USA. Earl Wild just switched his allegiance from Baldwin to the Shigeru Kawai, that company's top of the line instrument.

I hope, one day, to get the full history on the piano. If it could only talk, I'm sure we might learn a great deal.

This is much more than you asked for, but get me started on PIANOS and it is near impossible to stop.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:05 am

karlhenning wrote:As we say in Kansas, groovimondo!
Karl, dear, exactly when is it you venture into the Red State hinterlands to say 'groovimondo?' And do the natives know what you are talking about? :P
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

david johnson
Posts: 1522
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Post by david johnson » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:31 am

most excellent, lance!!

dj

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9806
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:10 am

Very seldom, to be sure, Corlyss! :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:19 pm

karlhenning wrote:Very seldom, to be sure, Corlyss! :-)

Cheers,
~Karl
Image

Post of the Day Award to ya, Karl. I thought as much.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 69 guests