On Friday evening, November 2nd, from 6-8 pm, Duluth Fine Pianos will celebrate its Grand Re-Opening, featuring Ryan Frane and Friends in what we hope is the 1st Monthly Jazz Series Concert. He will be creating, using the Yamaha S5X Premier Grand Piano as seen in the picture here! By then, Superior St will be passable again (it is almost complete now!), and the store should be at its most inviting. Come join us for some extraordinary music in a fantastic space, and of course, featuring some fantastic instruments in the hands of fantastic musicians. It's going to be.....GREAT!
There she is! All 6'7" of her! This is a Yamaha S5X Grand Piano. Read about it, look at the short videos. The care taken with hammer selection is just one of the processes used to make exquisite instrument. Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, or A.R.E. was used making Yamaha violins, a non-chemical method of 'aging' the wood so that the sound opens up! You just have to hear it! Come in and take it for a spin! It's already broken in!
Once again, Northland Constructors went the extra mile, literally building a street so the semi bringing this 1000 lb piano could back up to the store! Hats off!
I think this is really a bad idea, but the image is still kind of evocative of ....sounds and smells. And, guess what?!? If you come visit, you can experience exactly that! Even if you don't drink coffee, the smell of a fresh brew is in the air, as you experience the music that emanates from the bodies of pianos- big ones, small ones, grand ones, upstanding ones, and -last but not least- technologically enhanced ones! If the smells are too much for you, step out the door and Starbucks is there. Please don't set your latte on the keys! But if your mind opens up with caffeine, then let some beautiful music seep in, as you visit the new showroom full of pianos!
As you can see, the street in front of my new store is all torn up! But you can still get in using the front sidewalk, and even better, you can get in via the Skywalk above! There is a stair down to Starbucks, Alerus Bank and Duluth Fine Pianos! The address is 331 W. Superior St, Duluth, 55802. You should come visit, just to say hello and see my new spaces! You can even bring in your fresh cup of coffee! I also have some cool new pianos, and more soon to arrive! Stay tuned to this page! The move is basically complete, all the pianos are in their new home, but there are improvements still to be made, so come see a work in progress! Besides, watching the road construction is fascinating! From the safety and cool perspective of the Skywalk, you can see just what is up down there!
The time has come! The old piano was supposed to have been free! No one wants to play it. The key tops are chipped, or missing, the sound is like finger nails on a chalk board, the rings on the lid where the plant sat, or the coffee cup, can only be covered up by doilies or napkins. What happened to the great piece of furniture we thought we had? Should we invest in fixing it up? The tuner won't come any more. He says it is hopeless. What to do? Our kids should be playing piano!
The science is clear: Kids who are learning musical instruments do better in school. In fact, science says that their IQ goes up when they spend time learning to play (or sing) music. We are willing to invest in lessons. All our friends have their kids in band or chorus, or learning musical instruments. And here sits this old piano that no one will play.
It's no wonder! A nice piano sounds great, looks great, feels great, and gives rewards every day! Imagine giving your 16 year old daughter a 60 year old car to drive. "Let's see if she likes it first before we get her a good one." No, that won't do! She needs something safe, something that works. And, by the way, if you want to make points with her, it should look good, too!
Like cars, pianos don't get better with age. Like an old house, they will need more maintenance as they get older. They do well when they have steady environments, steady humidity. A really nice piano will last a lifetime, although after 20 or 30 years things like new hammers, or a regulation become necessary. Cheap pianos are just like cheap anything. They last a while, and then become more trouble than they are worth. And no one wants to play a piano with sticky keys, doesn't hold tune, and sounds like mud.
I know a solution! And it is one that you won't regret!
Our dog, Freddy, passed away today. He was born in March, 2001. We rescued him from an animal shelter in Germany where we lived at the time. He was only a few weeks old then, and he has since been a member of the family for 16.5 years. A ripe old age for a dog, but never-the-less his passing makes us sad.
How does my dog relate to pianos? Well, first of all, he was a musical dog. When we would sing, he would run under the piano and join in. Most of the time I was louder. Sometimes I would sing a soft song by Schubert, and he would tone down his howl to match. Very sensitive! I think he was his loudest and most joyful when Melissa, my daughter, would play double-stops on her violin. That really hit a nerve with Freddy.
Then, he seemed to want to make the piano his own. He did that the way male dogs do, and it was a constant cause of irritation for us! I guess those solid, black Yamaha grand piano legs were too much to resist!
I could write a lot more words about Freddy, but I will save them for myself and my family who knew him best. After a long, eventful life, there is a lot of reminiscing to do, lots of fun memories to share. We have no plans to replace him. He was one-of-a-kind after all! And life will be different for us without a pet, but we look forward to the challenge!
So, you've got this old piano, and it would be a shame to just dispose of it. It has been in the family for over one hundred years. "It just needs a little tuning."
Well, so often it needs a lot more than a little tuning, and when the final bill is disclosed, the situation changes.
However! There is still hope for the heirloom. This is just one very clever reinterpretation of how an old piano can be utilized. How cool is this! Suddenly my wish that "there should be a piano in every home" starts taking on a different meaning. I mean, don't we all need to sleep sometime?
My recommendation is to go ahead and get two. Matching generously sized single beds are a great idea, right? Remember, a piano is usually just under 5 feet wide (outside dimension).
I don't quite know where you can find one, but if you are clever, I be you can figure out how to make one yourself!
"Part villain and part victim, Rigoletto is one of the most complex characters in operatic literature. John Pierce powerfully evokes the character's shades and nuances dramatically while plumbing the musical depths of one of the greatest baritone roles in the Italian repertory.
Unfortunately, opening night, Pierce suffered an injury just before intermission. The announcer relayed this information at the beginning of the second half saying, however, that Pierce had decided to soldier on, despite his injury.
He performed the last half of the opera with crutches, masterfully managing to alter his staging without missing a beat and singing with the same thrilling fervor he had before." Sheryl Jensen, Duluth News Tribune, June 24th, 2017.
And now, back to pianos!