Given the surge in digital piano sales, most of us thought acoustic pianos were on their way out.
And when our local Fresno Piano dealership closed its doors back in March 2011, piano mavens who wanted to purchase prized Steinways had to schlep to L.A. or grab an Amtrak headed south for Bakersfield. Neither were enticing options.
Craig’s list, a former repository of acoustics, became flooded with electronics, falsely advertised as real “pianos.” What was this world coming to?
To the rescue:
Enter Hans Oviedo and his brother, Heynor, abiding sellers at the old local piano establishment who ran with their decades-long sales experience, and took a risk-bearing leap!
They re-opened Fresno Piano as “Valley Music Center,” catapulting it from a Lessons-only hub to a combined atrium for fine pianos and weekly instruction.
By their efforts, Steinway grands and uprights were home again in the good company of their Boston and Essex cousins with both models having the prestigious Steinway design logo engraved into their shiny brass plates.
Who could ask for more during a stop-off for lessons?
One of my students just happened to play the house Boston that sat nobly, center stage in Valley Music Center’s recital hall. She performed Bach’s Prelude in C (Well-Tempered Clavier) for her Spring concert selection, and with a crystal clear essence that permeated each note.
Still, I was distracted by a majestic Steinway O, seated in the store’s far corner.
Having the Classic look of yesteryear, with a florid rack and scrolled legs, the piano had been memorialized by Steinway and Sons at its 2005 celebration in Hamburg.
So why resist the temptation to dip my fingers into its sea of beauty?
And so it came to pass during this season of Resurrection that I played the magnificent repository of resonance and was not disappointed.
“In April 2005, Steinway celebrated the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Steinway’s factory in Hamburg, Germany. Steinway employees, together with artists, dealers and friends from around the world celebrated the anniversary at the Laeiszhalle (former Music Hall Hamburg) with a gala concert, culminating in a showcase performance by the Steinway Artists Lang Lang, Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy and Detlef Kraus.
“As part of the celebration, the 125th anniversary limited edition Steinway art case piano by renowned designer Count Albrecht von Goertz was presented to the public.”
“This 5′ 10 ¾” (180cm) O grand piano has been a source of joy and inspiration since the very early 1900’s. Its sound is particularly warm and rich – far beyond what one would expect from a grand piano that is under 6 feet in length.”
P.S. Hans Oviedo has invited students and interested parties to sample the Hamburg O grand. He will mark off almost 20 minutes for each player by appointment.
Contact him at http://vmcfresno.com
or Phone at (559) 222-4900
Is the Acoustic Piano Culture at Risk?