The Secret Life of Piano Tuners

Hear from the people who keep New Zealand’s pianos sounding sweet, from old dingers to Steinway grands. We meet the man who tuned Paul McCartney’s family “joanna” and hear stories of the itinerant piano tuners who were much sought after in 19th century New Zealand. People interviewed in this programme include: Anthony Fry – piano tuner, Chris O’Connor – percussionist, Dr Kirstine Moffat – author of Piano Forte: Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand, David Jenkins – tuner, Yuji Nakamura – tuner, David Salmon – tuner, Hermione Johnson – pianist. (24′19″)

Produced by Julie Hill for Radio New Zealand National.


Motown sound to come from 1877 Steinway again

1877 Steinway grand piano

Onetime Beatle Paul McCartney paid to restore this 1877 Steinway grand piano used by Motown artists that is now part of the collection at the Motown Museum in Detroit. He came upon it when he toured the museum in 2011. It couldn’t be played at the time because of its deteriorated condition. He’ll get to play it now. (Detroit News via Associated Press)

Mowtown enthusiasts at Detroit’s Mowtown Museum (USA) are happy to welcome back their 1877 Steinway & Sons model D grand piano following a complete restoration at the Steinway & Sons New York Factory.

The piano was originally used in the museum’s recording studio (before the studio became a museum) and has been used by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. The restoration project was started by Paul McCartney, who wanted to see the piano restored to its former glory.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney will play the 1877 Steinway grand piano he paid to have restored at a Sept. 18 charity event in New York City before the piano is returned to the Motown Museum in Detroit. He’ll perform with Motown founder Berry Gordy. (Associated Press)

You can read the full article at the Washington Times on line by clicking here.

Gospel Pianos


Gospel Pianos

Gospel Pianos is proud to be the exclusive distributor in Australia of the following exceptionally elite brands:

  • C.Bechstein
  • Seiler
  • Bechstein
  • W.Hoffmann
  • Eduard Seiler
  • Wm.Knabe & Co
  • Johannes Seiler
  • Kohler & Campbell
  • Viscount
  • Lowrey
  • Ketron
  • Dynatone
  • Kohler

Pianos that are recognised worldwide, brand new and used: digital pianos, keyboards, synthesizers and much more. For more information, visit us in store today.

Underground Pianola


Underground Pianola

– New music for the next generation

We create new musical arrangements and new compositions for the mechanical piano. In 2012 we are regarded as the only outfit regularly issuing new music for this format. We also assist music venture and concert projects and photography projects. Our clientele is worldwide and we are based in England. To discuss the creation of a new title or project send us an email anytime.

Three Approaches to Piano Restoration


Three Approaches to Piano Restoration

WHEN REBUILDING A PIANO, the restorer is presented at every turn with questions concerning the extent to which the piano’s original design, parts, and materials should be preserved or, conversely, altered or replaced. The philosophies that guide these decisions fall, roughly, into three camps, which might be called, respectively, Conservative, Modern, and Innovative. Of course, this division is, to some degree, a generalization; a particular restorer may combine elements of more than one approach in his or her work.

With the conservative approach, the restorer places a high priority on preserving as much of the original instrument as possible, even, if necessary, sacrificing some degree of performance in the interest of maintaining historical authenticity (not just to save money). So with this approach, for example, rather than replace a cracked soundboard, a restorer would shim the cracks with wood (if possible, with old wood); and rather than discard and replace old wooden action parts, the restorer would replace only their worn leather and cloth surfaces. Design changes, even minor ones, are unthinkable.

With the modern approach, the restorer places a higher priority on the instrument’s performance, and so replaces as many parts as possible with new ones. But the restorer attempts to make the piano only as good as it was when new, closely maintaining the original design. Sometimes minor design changes will be made to correct known defects, especially ones the manufacturer itself corrected in later instruments.

With the innovative approach, the restorer not only replaces worn parts with new, but also feels free to modify the design of the instrument in any way that, in the restorer’s judgment, would make it perform better — even in ways the manufacturer never contemplated and might not approve of. So the thickness and taper of the soundboard might be changed, the bridges moved, the stringing scale altered, even new holes made in the cast-iron plate and pinblock to accommodate new strings — anything that can be done within the confines of the original case and plate is on the table for consideration.

In this article, several well-respected piano restorers, each approximately representing one of the above positions, explain their approaches to restoration in general and, specifically, how they might be applied to various eras of Steinway grands.


Pianist finds forte with Mozart


An appreciation of style and grace fuels Kris Bezuidenhout’s long-held passion for Mozart, writes Steve Dow.

Kris Bezuidenhout is in the process of recording Mozart's entire works. Photo: Marco Del GrandeRead more:

Kris Bezuidenhout is in the process of recording Mozart’s entire works. Photo: Marco Del Grande

Bezuidenhout will play, as he often does, on fortepianos similar to those Mozart played and composed on. A fortepiano is the early version of a piano, lighter in both construction and sound. But the instrument has been neglected in recent recordings of the classical repertoire.

Bezuidenhout, 32, who also plays piano and harpsichord, is changing that situation by using fortepiano in his planned recording of nine volumes covering all of Mozart’s solo keyboard music, at the rate of two volumes a year.

Read more:

100 Years on, RMS Titanic and Steinway & Sons


RMS Titanic

April 15, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the most famous maritime disaster in history, the sinking of the luxury ocean liner RMS Titanic.

The sinking of the Titanic is an epic story that has stirred up interest and emotion in countless people over the decades, as well as inspiring literature, music, art and of course, film.

While most of us are familiar with the history and events surrounding the Titanic disaster, you may be interested to know the story from a Steinway & Sons perspective.

Read the full story at

New range of wooden music stands

The Piano Workshop is proud to stock a new range of wooden music stands. These are beautifly made, and are available at a very reasonable price.

The range includes adjustable height stands in rosewood and walnut finish. There is even a double stand that allows duet players to face each other whilst performing.

All stands made be ordered from this page.