NEWS ARCHIVE 2010
7th December 2010
Welcome to the last news update of this year. It doesn't seem possible that we are nearing the end of what has been an exceptional year for the business. This has been the first full year of having the additional showroom and the amount of pianos that we have supplied has increased dramatically. The quality of our pianos has also steadily increased with a good selection of uprights and grands from each of our chosen German manufacturers; Bluthner and Grotrian Steinweg. Our best selling pianos have been the fantastic mid range Kawai pianos with both the uprights and grands selling very well throughout the year. We are hoping to increase our stocking levels of the excellent Schreiner & Sohne range in the new year so that we always have a selection of uprights and grands in stock throughout the year. We are also always looking for good quality used pianos and often have customers to contact if something special comes in, many of these pianos don't make it on to our stock pages of the web site!
November has probably been the most enjoyable month of my time in business. It has been a little quieter than the last couple of months but we have welcomed some amazing musicians into the showroom and thoroughly enjoyed their visits. Highlights include a visit from a well known choral composer, the arrival of the Grotrian Classic upright, which is absolutely stunning, and the sale of the Grotrian-Steinweg Cabinet Grand which is the most incredible piano! The sale of the Cabinet is something I will always remember with a fantastic local professional pianist reduced to tears by the beauty of the instrument, the emotion of her playing and the tonal beauty of the piano brought a lump to my throat for a truly memorable experience. To have such a fine pianist share in my enthusiasm for this beautiful instrument was a real joy and I am delighted that her long search for her perfect piano ended with me in my showroom. The replacement Cabinet has been ordered already!
Another highlight was taking three pianos to Pangbourne College to showcase ourselves at their Christmas Bazaar. We are very grateful to the organisers of the event for making us so welcome and looking after us so well. Chris who is a good friend of the business and a fantastic piano player came along to play Christmas music for the duration of the Bazaar. While he was playing fine music I was taking the opportunity to talk pianos to anyone that showed any hint of interest! We thoroughly enjoyed the event and met many interesting people, some that we hope may become customers in the future. I will certainly be looking for opportunities to present our business like this again next year.
As the year comes to a close I am very optimistic for the business looking into 2011. I will be looking to put on more classes in the showroom; a choral workshop is being planned and a second jazz workshop taking shape. I am also looking at the possibility of small informal concerts in the showroom and for other opportunities to promote ourselves in an enjoyable way. I was unable to put on a technical class this Autumn but am looking to get something organised for the Spring for local tuners and technicians, it is always great fun to meet with other people in the trade and share experiences and talk pianos!
All that remains for this update is to wish all of our customers a very Happy Christmas and a Happy new Year!
2nd November 2010
I am delighted to report that October was a fantastic month for the business. We enjoyed welcoming many new and interesting customers to the showrooms and also many existing tuning customers looking to upgrade their pianos. Both Neil and myself have been incredibly busy but are thoroughly enjoying what is traditionally a busy time of year!
October saw a shift from the great demand for entry level secondhand upright pianos in September to mid and high range new pianos. We are down to our last few Schreiner & Sohne pianos but have recently been able to secure more regular deliveries starting in the New Year. The success of these pianos has surpassed our expectations and the quality of build and performance of these pianos is superior to anything else I have seen at a similar price.
The Kawai K2 continues to be our best selling piano, we now have four different finishes in stock including black polished with chrome fittings which looks quite striking. Pianists of varying abilities from beginner to piano teacher make this their choice of piano, they offer a great performance at a reasonable price and are an ideal size for most homes. Kawai grand pianos have also been popular with the GE20 and GE30 pianos being chosen by capable pianists for their warm tonal quality and superb action response.
The Grotrian Steinweg uprights are appealing to some serious pianists; the Cristal went to professional jazz pianist Dave Stapleton, a fine testament to the unbelievable quality of the piano. I am incredibly excited about the imminent arrival of a Grotrian Classic, the first time we have had this 124cm upright in our stock. Konrad from Grotrian describes this piano as the big brother to the Cristal, a piano that I adore, so my expectations of this piano are sky high!! I recently filled out a questionnaire for a 'Dealer in the Spotlight' interview for the Piano Tuners Association publication. One of the questions was what would be your ideal piano? My answer was; the Grotrian Cabinet grand in my showroom!! These pianos are truly exceptional. I am planning a trip out to the factory next year and will include a special report on the web site afterwards.
We are receiving an increasing level of interest in the new Bluthner pianos with firm interest on the model 6 grand piano and model C upright. As a technician I can marvel at the supreme build quality of these pianos including a cabinet finish second to none. The quality of materials used and the quality of build make these fine pianos a once in a lifetime purchase.
We also supplied two beautifully restored grand pianos in October. One was a 6'8" Bechstein and the other a 5'4" Grotrian Steinweg. Both pianos were stunning furniture pieces and gave fantastic musical performance after full restoration of the highest quality.
October saw the first class we have hosted in our showroom entitled 'an introduction to jazz for classical pianists'. Dave Stapleton (proud owner of the Grotrian Cristal) spent three hours explaining and encouraging improvisation to 13 local piano teachers. During one exercise there were twelve pianos being played together by three groups of four; bass, middle and improvised treble. To hear twelve of my pianos being played together at the same time was a great joy for me! Jean (piano tuning customer) provided tea, coffee and home made cake to end a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I am talking with Dave with a view to hosting more classes in the future.
That just about sums up a lively and busy October. As we roll into November there is much to look forward to, particularly that Grotrian arrival.. As always Neil and myself look forward to meeting new customers and welcoming them to our showrooms.
6th October 2010
As the weather deteriorates and the nights draw in this is tradtionally the busiest time of year in the piano trade. For us September has been an incredibly busy month, particularly the secondhand uprights and the Schreiner & Sohne and Kawai ranges. Neil has been away in France for two weeks so the showroom is bursting awaiting the delivery of pianos sold in the last couple of weeks with replacements already arrived!
We took delivery of the Schreiner & Sohne pianos but have been so busy we haven't yet had time to update the Schreiner page on the site. Unfortunately, they continue to be a victim of their own success with stocks dwindling already. We are working towards storing a larger stock of these popular pianos with some positive steps in the right direction which will enable us to, hopefully, keep up with demand!
Kawai pianos continue to be very popular, particularly the model K2. We have three different finishes of this model which is our best selling piano and continues to be extremely popular. The build quality of the Kawai pianos combined with the warm tone and responsive actions make them impossible to beat in the price range.
We are delighted to have two interested parties in our wonderful Bluthner model 6 grand piano which exudes quality. The Grotrian cabinet grand also gets much attention and is a truly remarkable instrument. Our Grotrian Carat upright is reserved and should be delivered out soon. We often invite customers to 'treat themselves' by playing the Grotrian and Bluthner ranges!
October sees the first of our masterclasses which we aim to run from time to time. This one is titled 'introduction to jazz for classical pianists' and many local piano teachers have been invited to hear what professional jazz pianist Dave Stapleton has to say! It should be a really enjoyable event and we are very much looking forward to it. We hope to be able to offer more events like this in the future; it is a great way of presenting our business and having fun along the way!
As ever, we are thoroughly enjoying life at the showroom. We look forward to welcoming visitors during the coming month.
6th September 2010
I hope that you have enjoyed the summer months and are looking forward to more piano playing with the nights drawing in and the colder, wetter weather approaching!
Welcome to our new look web site! We have been working with designers over the summer to produce the new site in line with the expansion of the business. As mentioned in previous news pages we have invested heavily in our stock to offer an impressive range of pianos and we hope that the new web site better reflects the business as it is today.
The later part of the summer has been a very busy time for us with great demand for second hand uprights; I returned from holiday in France to find Neil had sold the lot while I was away! Neil picked up two more yesterday which will soon feature on the site. Kawai pianos have remained popular, especially the impressive K6 which is a real joy to play. The small Grotrian uprights have also proved a great success with the unbelievable quality of tone encouraging budgets to be stretched! We are awaiting the next batch of Schreiner & Sohne uprights which are due in within the next few weeks. We have one Schreiner & Sohne grand in stock which offers exceptional value at just £6495. The reputation of these instruments is growing and we are getting enquiries for them from all over the country. Our stock of Bluthner continues to impress and attract much interest from both customers and local music professionals, the model 6 grand is truly exceptional.
As ever we welcome new or old customers to the showroom. We are working towards offering a jazz masterclass to piano teachers and a technical masterclass to piano tuners in the next couple of months. Whilst enjoying a good informative day it gives us the chance to show off our showrooms and pianos to local professionals and raise the profile of our business within the local music community. We are very much looking forward to meeting new customers in the next few months and enjoying our business.
5th July 2010
I hope that you are enjoying the fine weather that we have had lately. This is traditionally the quieter time in the piano business as minds turn to the great outdoors. We have kept up an encouraging level of sales throughout spring and into summer and are incredibly busy with behind the scenes developing the business which is very exciting!
Since opening the new showroom back in September we have been busier than we could ever have imagined. Our business has naturally progressed with the appointment as a Bluthner Piano centre and supplier of Grotrian Steinweg. As I write we have a model 6 Bluthner Grand piano in stock and models C & D uprights. We also have a Grotrian Steinweg Cabinet Grand and Friedrich studio, Carat and Cristal uprights. All of these top end, high quality pianos are beautiful instruments with character of their own and a joy to play and have in stock. We also have the entire range of Kawai uprights, some duplicates with the choice of different finishes, and two Kawai grands. Schreiner & Sohne are on order with a grand due with us soon, the uprights will flood in ready for the busy season at the end of the summer.
As the business has grown it has become clear where our market is; predominantly the mid-high end range of pianos. We have invested heavily in stock to offer a superb selection of pianos from £2000 to £50,000. We are now investing in re-branding the business to reflect the quality of pianos that we offer. All marketing material has been redesigned and a new web site will be launched by the end of the summer. We have some fantastic designers from Greenhouse Graphics running these projects and are incredibly excited by the results so far. All stationery is being redesigned in line with changes with the aim of being ready to present ourselves in the best possible way from September onwards.
There has been a great deal of added interest from other music professionals since becoming a Bluthner Piano Centre. We always welcome any pianists to try these fantastic pianos alongside the Grotrians. Later in the year we are running a training day for piano tuners/technicians. If you are a tuner and reading this and would like an invite send me an email! This is something that we will hope to offer a few times a year and I am delighted to be able to do so. The first training day will be on grand piano set up and regulation and Kawai's top UK technician, Michio, is sharing his considerable knowledge and experience with us. Michio is UK based and on hand to help with all technical matters related to Kawai pianos, a great example of Kawai's commitment to supporting their dealer network!
Another great development is that another local tuner, Richard Collins, has started to do some tuning work for us. Richard works to a very high standard, he is Bluthner trained so a great asset to the business. As the business grows and the showroom demands more of my time it is invaluable to have the help of Vicky and Richard to keep up with the piano tuning round.
So, during this quieter time there is much to be done and much to look forward to! Look out for the new web site, I'd be delighted to hear any comments once it is up and running. Please come and see us, the more people that visit and like what we do the more people will visit in the future!
We continue to operate by informal appointment which works really well for both customers and us.
Enjoy the summer!
28th April 2010
It has been a very exciting and busy few months for us since I last wrote. We have enjoyed welcoming many new customers to our showrooms.
Second hand pianos are always much sort after and tend to sell very quickly. They often don't make it to our web pages before they sell but we try to update the site as often as possible. We currently have a fantastic Kemble 116 that has just come in and as I write hasn't sold!
The Schreiner & Sohne pianos have once again been in great demand and have currently sold out. We are waiting for the next batch to arrive and will display them as soon as possible. Wendl & lung also continue to be a popular choice with the 122 model a particular favourite
Kawai pianos continue to be very popular with all models selling well, both uprights and grands. We now stock duplicate models in different colours and finishes to give even more choice to customers choosing one of these fine pianos.
The long awaited Grotrian Steinweg pianos arrived and the truly exceptional Studio 110 sold twice in the first week of arriving! These fine hand built German pianos give an incredible performance and have been admired and enjoyed by many of our customers.The Carat is on reserve with another Studio and a Cristal on order from Germany.
The latest and most exciting news for the business is that we have been appointed an Official Bluthner Piano Centre. I personally cannot begin to say how delighted I am by this development and the opportunity to stock pianos from this prestigious piano maker. Bluthner approached us as a suitable business to represent them and we accepted without hesitation. I have always greatly admired these pianos and the warm rich tone that they produce. We currently have three on order, a model 6 grand and models C and D uprights which are due in soon. We cannot wait to receive them...
Since opening the new showroom back in september the business has gone from strength to strength. With Bluthner on the way 2010 is proving to be a very exciting year...!
6th January 2010
Happy New Year to all of our customers!
As we start 2010 Neil and I are both looking forward to an exciting year ahead with the business. We have been delighted by the positive response to the bigger showroom and broader selection of pianos. Both of us have thoroughy enjoyed welcoming customers to the new showroom, have met some wonderful people and heard some fabulous, and not so fabulous, piano playing!
We are working closely with our chosen manufacturers to make sure that the high standards that we expect from the pianos is maintained. Some of the individual models in our showroom that stand out as particularly good examples at the moment are the K6 Kawai, the 123 Schreiner & Sohne and 122 Wendl & Lung in black with chrome fittings.
We are expecting a British made Kemble Conservatoire to be delivered in soon. This is a piano that has proved very popular with our customers in the past and I have enjoyed working on very much. It has been much publicised in the national press that Kemble Pianos are going through a transition period with the sad closeure of the British factory and relocation of manufacturing to Indonesia. We will be keeping a very close eye on the quality of the pianos over the coming monthes before renewing our commitment to stocking Kemble Pianos in depth.
January should see the long awaited arrival of the Grotrian Steinweg pianos. Local piano teachers can expect an invitation to come and view these superb instruments when they are in. These incredible pianos inspire great piano playing with a depth of tonal colour that cannot be explained in words but is so apparent when played! We are excited about receiving these pianos in to say the least!
As I write this we are snowed in with about 16 inches of snow outside. I managed to get around to a few tunings today by push bike which proved to be precarious to say the least! I will be walking to a few tunings tomorrow, then onwards to the showroom to work on pianos that have just come in or are due out soon. As ever, Neil and I will welcome any visitors once access is a little less prohibited by the snow and ice.