Pianos need so little to endure for decades; a little playing time, periodic tuning, and a comfortable environment. We put our heart into our pianos when we sit and play them, when we remember the long hours of practice and the rewarding years of enjoyable music. Which is why this sad piano story affects us so deeply. Warning, the images you are about to see are disturbing to piano lovers. The names and serial numbers have been withheld to protect the innocent.
We were recently contacted about restoring a piano. The piano was a Steinway grand, already once rebuilt with care less than 20 years ago. Only a few years after so many parts were replaced, cabinet finished, and so on, the piano was moved to a country home where it was exposed to daily changes and seasonal extremes. In just over 10 years, the piano was left in ruins.
We were asked if there is any hope for this piano. The piano was donated to an institution of higher learning. Hmmm. Remarkably, it may be possible to save this piano at great expense. Given the price of a new Steinway, it may still be worth it. By way of our PianoWorks Restoration facility, we have saved pianos in similar condition including a Steinway concert grand that was found in a condemned building, sitting in rainwater from a collapsed roof. That piano became a primary performance instrument for Auburn University. We’ve salvaged a few from flood waters, fires and even a hurricane or two.
Please be kind to your piano. Give it love, tuning, regulation & voicing, and protect it from the elements.
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