June 26, 1994
My thanks to Wanda Coleman for "Off the Same Boat" (On the Town, May 8). I remember once when a fine grand piano was delivered to my pupil's house. Her father, mad as hell, summoned me to his house. "You chose this piano for us! What the hell is the matter with it?" The piano movers were either forgetful or inexperienced. There is a hidden lever that locks a piano's dampers away from contact with the strings during transport. No matter what one does, the strings cannot be muted and will continue to sound, when struck, until they die away naturally--quite a long time in music.
February 18, 2014 |
Prince William wants to destroy all the ivory artifacts in Buckingham Palace. Here at the other end of the ivory owner spectrum, I'm wondering what to do with my backup piano keys. Organized crime has turned ivory poaching from a worrisome trend that threatens endangered elephants into a raging problem fed by the new middle class in China that seeks out and can afford ivory tchotchkes. From 2002 to 2013, almost two-thirds of the forest elephants in central Africa were killed for their tusks.
September 17, 1987
While I consider a white grand piano an abomination, my heart goes out to that poor Steinway, hauled from freeway to stadium and God knows where else ("White Steinway Sounds Off in Unlikely Places" by Julie Wheelock, Sept. 9). A piano, whatever its size, is not meant to be played alfresco. Would that this one could rise, a la Paderewski, saying "I am not an outdoor piano" and then stalk off the stage. FRED SCIFERS Inglewood
December 26, 1986
A rare Bosendorfer piano, one of a series of only 15, has been donated to UC San Diego by a La Jollan who wishes to remain anonymous. The piano's value is estimated at $30,000. It was designed and constructed by the highly regarded Bosendorfer piano company of Austria in the early 1960s. The piano has been played in public only once, during a 1960 concert in New York City's Town Hall.
November 12, 2011 |
You can take your show on the road with Korg's new portable MicroPiano. The 61-key, electronic keyboard packs a veritable Carnegie Hall of sounds, with programs that simulate accordions, harps, flutes, organs, steel drums, marimbas and 55 other effects. With the press of a key, you can spice up your own creations with a choice of 25 snazzy short-phrase sounds. With built-in speakers and a choice of battery or plug-in power, you're good to go. Plug in headphones (not included)
July 2, 2006
I recall my enthusiasm after receiving an invitation to play Horowitz's Steinway in 1993 ["As Barry Bonds, so Mr. Horowitz," June 18]. I vividly remember my amazement after touching the ivory keys and discovering the exceptional beauty of tone and utmost sensitivity of the action of this great example of a classic Steinway grand. One of the author's statements attracted my attention: "Obviously, Horowitz took most of his sound to the grave." Fortunately that is not the case. Researchers in the 20th century observing piano playing and listening to the sound of great pianists of the past (Horowitz among them)