2nd May 2013
Welcome to the latest update, as ever this is long overdue as we have been so busy!! The first quarter of this year has been the busiest start to a year that we have seen with many interesting visitors to the showroom. I am writing this on May 2nd and as the glorious weather takes us towards the bank holiday things have quietened down, time to update this page quickly!!
I am very much looking forward to another trip to Germany in a couple of weeks. A fine jazz pianist discovered the beauty of Grotrian-Steinweg pianos in my showroom during a really enjoyable visit. We are travelling to the factory to see the fantastic production of these fine pianos and to try a couple more of the grand of choice. I am incredibly excited about visiting the factory again and looking forward to helping with the choice of piano. Our Grotrian uprights have been popular at the start of the year with many fine pianists taken aback by the tonal colour and beauty. I encourage every visitor to play at least one Grotrian, usually the cabinet grand which is stunning and leaves a lasting impression on people. Indeed, my visitor last year that was on a charity fund raising challenge to play 1000 grand pianos contacted me again. He is about to complete his challenge and the one piano that stood out on his travels around Europe was my 192 Grotrian-Steinweg cabinet grand!! Although the piano is beyond his budget he is awaiting the restoration of an older Grotrian-Steinweg to visit and try. Another great testimony to the incredible musical performance of Grotrian-Steinweg pianos!
When I last wrote a Scheidmayer grand was soon due out of the workshop. It was in the showroom just three days before it was reserved and then sold to a local pianist. It is amazing how often the right piano comes along at the right time and this was a perfect example and hugely enjoyable. As ever, the restoration done in our workshop in Reading was second to none and the piano is performing to its full potential and very impressive. The Steinway model O is now being restored with the Grotrian next in line. We have also recently bought a burr walnut Ronisch almost identical to the one we restored last year. I am thoroughly enjoying offering these fine quality restored pianos and can’t wait to see the Grotrian completed!!
Kawai pianos remain very popular, as do the Feurich uprights. Both offer excellent quality at competitive prices. We have supplied a few of the big Kawai K6 uprights recently, I always enjoy the preparation of these pianos and find they respond really well to fine regulation and voicing. One of our K6 customers lived in a flat so piano Logistics were called in to lift the very heavy upright into the home! The Kawai K2 continues to be our most popular upright with piano teachers and beginners alike choosing this high performing piano at a great price. I am always looking at other pianos on the market to see if there is anything that could add to our selection at the showroom, I have my eye on a couple of things..
We have recently welcomed Freya to the showroom. Freya has previously trained and worked alongside her Father who is a piano tuner living in Yorkshire. Freya has the potential to be an excellent tuner and is currently honing her skills and increasing her speed by working on the showroom pianos. It is great to have her helping with the showroom stock and she is a great character to have around. Vicky and Richard remain flat out with the tuning, apart from a bit of ill health from both. I continue to tune and never lose my enjoyment of it, today was fantastic having visited a couple of customers who recently bought pianos from me. For me the mix of showroom appointments and activities and tuning ‘on the road’ make for a very happy work life. This weekend we are lending a piano to a local music festival in return for some promotion, it is good to support the local music community when possible. Finally, with this fine weather I have been finishing a little early to get the trainers on and run through he countryside, another passion of mine! If you call and get the answer phone please do leave a message, I may well be on a run but will always reply as soon as I can. Enjoy the sunshine!
30th January 2013
Happy new year and welcome to the latest new update. Predictably this update has been long overdue but I am pleased to report that I haven’t had time to sit down to write as business has been so busy! I am laid up today with a bad back so a great opportunity to catch up with jobs such as compiling this update!
The last quarter of 2012 saw our busiest time ever in the showroom. It was great fun welcoming so many people and Neil was busy Christmas Eve delivering a number of pianos that were surprise presents for the morning! I have to admit that I underestimated how busy the showroom was going to be and booked too much pre Christmas tuning work in which made for an extreme juggling act trying to be in two places at once. It was great fun and I think it all went very well!
One of the highlights of last year was the supply of the beautiful burr walnut restored Ronisch piano. The restoration work was extensive and transformed the piano into a fine instrument and furniture piece combined. The piano had to be delivered over an internal balcony in a barn conversion to sit in a gallery area overlooking the entrance hall. Delivery was achieved with the help of a genie lift and once safely installed the piano looked absolutely fabulous. I enjoyed toasting the safe installation with the proud new owners of this very special piano.
Having enjoyed the Ronisch restoration so much I am looking to include more restored pianos in the business this year. I currently have a Sheidmayer half way through restoration and Steinway and Grotrian-Steinweg grands waiting for work to commence. I also have couple of Grotrian uprights sat waiting in the queue!
A few Grotrian uprights were delivered out towards the end of last year. I adore these pianos and always thoroughly enjoy showing them off, it is a real pleasure to share the appreciation of the beautiful tone that they produce. Kawai pianos have been popular, as ever, with many K2 and K3 models being chosen as well as K5 and K6’s. Kawai UK kindly brought two Japanese technicians to my showroom to work on my Kawai stock. The skilled preparation work that was carried out improved the pianos further and I learnt some new techniques that I will be using in my preparation of the pianos in the future. It was another great example of the excellent support that Kawai offer. Another very popular choice in the showroom are the Feurich 122’s. These pianos offer a rich and powerful tone that many customers enjoy at a very reasonable price. Feurich’s commitment to continually producing good quality pianos and always looking at developing them further is admirable. With an excellent UK distributor now the company are great to deal with and I am enjoying stocking the pianos.
Tuning remains incredibly busy and enjoyable. Myself, Vicky and Richard generally manage to keep fully booked, any gaps are filled with keeping the showroom stock in good order. I try to limit my tuning on a Friday to be around the showroom to meet people and carry out the preparation work on the pianos. We do still have much work to be done to catch up from the snow which prevented us from delivering for a while. On that note I must sign off and attempt to haul myself up to the showroom, I have appointments with a couple of customers and pianos to prepare ready for delivery, there isn’t time for a bad back....