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Steinway Is Not the Last Word in Pianos

November 13, 2000

As a college piano instructor, I certainly do not consider Steinway the benchmark against which I would measure up-and-coming artistic instruments ("How Will Kawai's Hand-Built Grand Play Against Steinway?" Nov. 3). Please! The quality of the Steinway piano has suffered greatly in the last half-century while the company capitalized on its name-brand visibility (this is not the case, of course, if one is discussing a German Steinway).

The real benchmarks are the outstanding instruments from Europe such as the Bechstein, my dream piano, an instrument that speaks back to the performer with phenomenal, gorgeous tone in response to every nuance of touch. Using the Steinway as a benchmark is as up-to-date as measuring a Mercedes S-class by the Ford. By the way, I consider the Yamaha a benchmark of affordable pianos--beautiful tone and fine action at a reasonable price, and respect Kawai's commitment to high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

STEVEN R. HODSON

Santa Barbara

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