LOS ANGELES CHAPTER
February Meeting: (3rd Monday)
Date: Monday, February 20, 2017
Time: Socializing - 6:00 pm
Meeting - 7:00 pm
Location: Precision Piano - Franco's Shop
10426 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
In January, we held a special multi-chapter meeting which included guest speakers Ferdinand Braeu, Senior Technical Manager for Bösendorfer, and Bill Brandom, Disklavier consultant for Yamaha. A big thanks goes out to them for their time and for sharing their expertise with us all! Thank you to Dennis Hagerty, Jeff Falgien, Jeff Bauer and Mark Tabor at the Santa Monica Keyboard Concepts for hosting us. Thanks, also, to those PTG members and affiliates who traversed LA traffic from afar to participate in these educational presentations; it was an excellent turnout!
We started the meeting with an informative travelogue of Dennis H. & Jeff B.’s trip to Japan to visit the Yamaha factories (and resort). The video wasn't about the great food and electronic gadgets (that's a different video) but a lot of cool shots of the VP (vacuum-process) plate making and their flagship store in the Ginza. Wonderful BUSINESS trip!
Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik was founded in Vienna in 1828 and is considered one of the premier pianos in the world today. It was the official piano maker for the Emperor of Austria, the House of Hapsburg. Ferdinand Braeu started with Bösendorfer in 1978 as a young apprentice. In the last 6 years, he headed the R&D for the newest model - Vienna Concert Grand Pianos. The model-280VC (9'2") was introduced at NAMM in 2016 and at this year's NAMM they debuted the model-214VC (7') to much fanfare. Many artists have taken notice of this new design and have enthusiastically requested the instrument for concerts. Bösendorfer only makes about 300 pianos a year and this last year they not only sold more concert grands than ever but 20% of their production is in the 280VC. Keyboard Concepts has one in the Sherman Oaks showroom for you to play.
Ferdinand also discussed some of the changes in design that have occurred through the ages. He and Ray Chandler will be teaching "Bösendorfer Service Issues - Now & Then" in St. Louis this summer.
After lunch we returned for the second session with Bill Brandom who discussed the perceived enigmatic Yamaha Disklavier and Hybrid Piano, and provided us gifts, including service packets/DVDs, and Yamaha USB flash drives that contained the latest software update to the new Enspire Disklavier. This discussion included the following products: Enspire - "an overall, excellent representation of Yamaha's technology products;" the Disklavier TV; the Silent Piano; and the TransAcoustic Piano. Bill also covered the importance of acoustic tuning around the Disklavier system, how to properly adjust for lost motion in the pedals with regards to the sensors, how often the system should be calibrated/maintained, and advice regarding Teflon powder and shutter sensors. We were also able to connect our smart devices to the new Enspire Disklavier system as a controller, which was an exciting new feat for many of us. Overall, this was an excellent and much-needed topic of discussion as we progress into the inevitable technological future.
At our next meeting, we will have a panel discussion about piano evaluation and appraisals. Most of us, at one time or another, have been asked to evaluate a piano for a client, student, school, etc. How do you go about it? What do you look for? We have invited Kayoko Forrest, Franco Skilan and David Kreisberg, all of whom have performed hundreds of evaluations, to head off this discussion and hope you will bring your experiences and questions, too.