How do They Make Steinway Pianos?
Monday, September 24, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | piano
Steinway Place, Queens, New York, 11105. steinway.com or 718-721-2600.
It all begins with bare wood, rough and fragrant.
Skilled craftsmen then use muscle, fine motor skills
magic to transform simple planks into magnificent instruments. In the bridge-notching process, the "
" use tools they've constructed themselves, the better to execute this highly skilled operation.
Alaskan Sitka Spruce becomes a soundboard, with ribs of Sugar Pine.
Eighty-eight keys, 88 hammers, more than 230 strings -- all are carefully created, installed and tested in every piano.
All in all, it takes about 11 months to make a Steinway grand piano.
Steinway & Sons
been located in the same spot in the Astoria section of Queens since the early 1870s. Founded in 1853 in a loft on Varick Street in Manhattan, the company’s reputation grew quickly, and the company needed space to expand their operations.
Factory tours are offered from September through the end of June. (Factory tours are not available in July and August.) Tours are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, for a maximum of 15 people.
Needless to say, tours fill up quickly and must be booked in advance. Steinway currently has no openings for the rest of 2017 and is not yet taking reservations for 2018. Plan way ahead, and check for updates by emailing email@example.com or by calling 718-721-2600.
Adapted from http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/events/2017/08/18/factory-tours-made-usa/530543001/
Mary and Michael playing in the original Steinway Hall
Saturday, September 22, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | composers
The Piano Puzzlers book is available in the O'Connor Music Studio library if you'd like to give any a try. Piano Puzzlers as heard on American Public Media's "Performance Today." Includes 32 tunes with songs by Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Porter, Rodgers, Fats Waller, Lennon & McCartney, and others disguised in the styles of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Copland.
Includes an introduction by Fred Child, host of "Performance Today" as well as background info by Bruce Adolphe. "Bruce Adolphe has taken a common musician's party game and elevated it to high art and truly funny musical slapsticks. The Piano Puzzlers are a unique combination of extraordinary insight into the styles of many composers subtle, expert workmanship and great, great fun!"
If you’re a music geek (like me), I have a program for you. Now, let me be clear, to fully qualify as a music geek…you must have a fond appreciation for classical music (no, Poison, Quiet Riot, and Zepplin do not count as classical music). So, if you’re a “music geek” without an appreciation for classical music…well, I hate to burst your bubble…but, you’re not truly a music geek. Instead, you’re a music appreciator, but not a geek. So, if you just listen to indie music and scowl at anything on a label larger than Matador…don’t bother following the link I’ll provide…the fun will be lost on you…And, you probably won’t have a chance.
Every Wednesday night, on my way home from WNL, I turn on my local NPR station to listen to Piano Puzzlers on Performance Today. It’s absolutely incredible. A pianist/composer (Bruce Adolphe) takes a familiar folk or pop tune and sets it inside a classical masterpiece (or in the style of a particular composer). Sometimes it’s easy…sometimes it’s ridiculously difficult. There are days when I say, “got it” on the first pass. Then there are days when I say, “what the heck?” And, more often than not, I’m able to get either the popular/folk tune or the composer.
This is sad to admit, but there are nights when I’ll slow down on the drive home or sit in the car in the driveway to finish an episode. In fact, I get a little worked up if someone stops me after WNL…as I might miss the beginning of Piano Puzzlers (it usually hits around 8:20pm on our local station).
Take a listen to some of the archives and see if you can figure it out! It’s really cool…but probably only appreciated by music geeks (the kind of people that listen to NPR for their musical programs and not just the snipets of cool indie rock between segments on All Things Considered…which is a great show too).
Play Piano Puzzlers HERE!
Free Local Event: Pender Rocks the Block
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Mary O'Connor | local event
Pender Rocks the Block
Friday, September 14, 6 - 9 p.m. Rain or Shine
Pender UMC: 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA
Cost: Admission is Free but for some of the food, there will be a cost.
Pender Church is rocking the block again! We're having another block party for our neighbors, and you're invited for food, games, and live entertainment.
Fun for the whole family includes:
Food available for purchase from local food trucks, plus cupcakes and ice cream!
"Minute to Win It" games
Games for kids, teens
Parking will be available in parts of the Pender UMC parking lot, and at Christ Presbyterian Church just down Alder Woods Drive.