One if by land. Two if by sea…

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double win slots casino games With apologies to Longfellow I recount one of the more memorable sales of my career…

us online casino software It was Boston in the fall of 1993, and students were flocking to the institutions of higher learning that abound in the Boston area. This influx included a great many international students– some of whom were from middle income families, but many of whom were from families of great means and wealth.

hollywood casino online free games I was a young sales associate at the esteemed M. Steinert & Sons piano store which is located on Boylston Street in downtown Boston. This historic 6 story building looks out over the famed Boston Common. On the day in question, the bell at the entryway rang, and in walked a family. They immediately proceeded to survey the pianos on the first floor moving around in a tight circle like a knot.

The Historic Six Story Flagship Building Overlooking the Boston Common

online casino mit klarna Historic Six Story  Building Overlooking Boston Common

casino slots game free online I introduced myself and inquired as to their needs. The father informed me that his daughter had been accepted at Harvard University: in addition, she had been accepted as a student by one of the piano faculty at The New England Conservatory. “We are in need of a piano for her dorm room– a Steinway.”

casino secrets slot machines We began our journey with a focus towards the smaller grands and uprights. Winding our way through the pianos in the various showrooms on all the floors, we eventually found our way to a recently debuted Model S in North American Cherry wood with a Hepplewhite furniture design. This piano was a first in what was to become a very successful—and well-loved–line of instruments from Steinway’s “Crown Jewel” series.

The Hepplewhite Crown Jewel Grand

quick hit casino slots apk The Hepplewhite Crown Jewel Grand

online casino promotions no deposit I pointed out the exquisite workmanship, the exotic veneer as well as the sublime sound and action. I asked the daughter to play. I told them of the uniqueness that is inherent in each Steinway. The journey each instrument takes during the thirteen months necessary to craft a grand piano. They were enchanted, thrilled, enamored… But…

what online casino gives you free money In low tones they conversed in their native language which I had learned was Thai. The discussion became more animated and eventually the father turned to me and explained. “We love this instrument, but it is just too large for our daughter’s dorm room. We must look at uprights.”

online casino cyprus We took the elevator back to the first floor, and I led them to a Steinway Sheraton upright that had accompanied the Crown Jewel S into our inventory. It was also an North American Cherry Hepplewhite design, and, in a matter of moments, was unanimously chosen to be the new instrument for their daughter’s college residence.

online casino games companies As I sat with the father preparing the paperwork, I mused out loud as to how unfortunate it was that the room could not accommodate the desired grand. How evident it was that they truly loved the sound, the look, the style. It was an instrument that was destined to become an heirloom for the family that owned it.

casino robert de niro online castellano He looked at me, paused and then asked, “Can the grand piano by packed so that it could be transported safely by ship?” Why, “yes” I explained, “this is easily done.”   He informed that they had been purchasing some furniture and other items while in the states. They had a container that would be leaving from New York Harbor in about ten days to carry these items back to Thailand. “Can you have it delivered to the container he asked?” Why, “yes” I proclaimed with rising enthusiasm. “Well then I believe we would like not one, but two Steinway & Sons Crown Jewel instruments today.” “Why not!” I exclaimed!

online casino loyalty programs He then handed me a visa and said, “charge it”. I looked at the small piece of plastic in my hand. I looked at the rather large number on the purchase agreement. I looked back at the small card in my hand, and slowly made my way to the credit card terminal. I swiped the card. I typed in the rather large amount. I waited for the “call center” or the “are you crazy” message, and was shocked when seconds later the approval code appeared and the receipt began to print from the machine.

best slots on party casino I could not contain my curiosity. Mr. Pradipasen, what is it you do? (The card had cleared so quickly?).

jugar al casino online en argentina “I am in banking,” he explained as he handed me his card. And indeed he was, for Mr. Pradipasen was, in fact, the Director and Senior Executive Vice President of the Siam Commercial Bank!!!

The City of Bangkok

las vegas usa online casino no deposit bonus code The City of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River

So it was perhaps only a month or two later that from the harbor of Bangkok, Thailand there set forth a rider, perhaps not upon a horse, but likely on a bike as is so common in that country. A rider who rode through the streets of the city proclaiming “a Steinway is coming, a Steinway is coming”. Yes, sometimes it may only be one if by land, but if you are lucky perhaps it can be two if by sea.

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Documentation! A story of the Steinway Model S…

Several years ago, a well know developer in Philadelphia named Carl Dranoff contacted me, because he was interested in purchasing a Steinway grand piano for his new building adjacent to Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. This new beautiful luxury condominium high rise had been appropriately named Symphony House, and the residents of the city had watched it grow over Broad Street during the winter and into late spring.

Symphony House

Symphony House on the Avenue of the Arts

I met Mr. Dranoff at the Steinway selection room at Jacobs Music Company to show him the various options available to him. Knowing his concern for space, I lead him directly to Steinway’s 5’ 1” Model S.  The smallest of the Steinway Grands, this model first debuted in 1936 and its design and creation are Steinway lore. “Mr. Dranoff,” I said, “this instrument would be the perfect complement to your new building. It has a Philadelphia connection.”  As the story goes, in the early 1930’s the great pianist, Josef Hoffman, was the director of Philadelphia’s famed Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Hoffman desired a smaller Steinway grand which would fit into the confined practice spaces of Curtis. During this time Josef was in constant correspondence with his friend and contemporary Theodore Steinway of Steinway & Sons.  It was with Hoffman’s steady encouragement and feedback as well as the evolution of Steinway’s revolutionary new “Diaphragmatic Soundboard” that the ingredients for the design and production of this remarkable new Steinway came together and this model became a reality.

The originals plans for the revolutionary "Diaphragmatic" soundboard.

The original plans for the revolutionary “Diaphragmatic” soundboard.

“This Model S would be the perfect instrument for Symphony House,” I told Mr. Dranoff, “with its Philadelphia (Curtis) roots it creates a triangle of excellence: Symphony House, The Kimmel Center, and Curtis.” Mr. Dranoff loved the story and the marketing angle, so he immediately authorized its purchase. I was elated!

Two days later I received a call from Mr. Dranoff’s executive assistant. “Mr. Love, Mr. Dranoff would like you to provide him with some documentation on the story you told him about the Model S.” “Documentation?” I asked. “Yes,” she said, “documentation.” Her tone and tenure left no doubt that this was of great importance to Mr. Dranoff and without it both reputation and sale could be at risk.

I hung up having gone from elated to deflated in a single call. So, I called the Steinway factory in search of documentation. My first stop was the then Executive Vice President of Steinway, Mr. Frank Mazurco. “Documentation!” he exclaimed, “That is a story told down through the generations, and I am not aware of any documentation. Why don’t you try Peter Goodrich (Concert & Artists Director)? He has all the old Steinway Magazines and there might be something there. Thus, my next stop was with Peter. “Documentation!” said Peter, “I’ll look but I cannot recall anything about this story in the magazines.”

Several days later he called with words I didn’t want to hear—he hadn’t been able to find the Model S story. Sensing my desperation, he encouraged me to set up a phone call with Henry Z. Steinway- the great grandson of the founder of Steinway & Sons. Mr. Steinway, then in his early nineties, was the voice of sophistication and class. When I spoke to him, his response was a more refined yet no less emphatic “Documentation?” Fortunately, he began to muse… “My Uncle Ted’s papers were donated to the University of Maryland, and if there is anything to be found that is where you would find it.” I thank him for his guidance and began the next phase in my search for documentation.

I tracked down the phone number for the archive department and dialed the number. “Documentation?” said the graduate assistant, when I explained my story and my need. “Sir, we have boxes and boxes of materials from Theodore Steinway!” But I persisted- politely encouraging him that any papers from the 1930s with the Model S or Curtis referenced would be greatly appreciated. He agreed, somewhat dubiously, to look through the files for me. Several days later the assistant called with surprising news –he had found two letters which seemed to be what I was looking for. A scan and email later, I had in my possession two letters which related to the advent of the Model S: A letter on Curtis letterhead, signed by Josef Hoffman, requesting the delivery of six of the new Model S pianos, and a personal note on stationary from the ‘Red Coach Inn of Niagra Falls’ in which Mr. Hoffman expresses his appreciate and warm regards for the new Model S to his good friend Theodore Steinway.

 

Josef Hoffman orders six of the new Model S Grands for Curtis.

Josef Hoffman orders six of the new Model S Grands for Curtis. (plus a Model D or two)

A personal note of appreciation from Josef to Theodore Steinway

A personal note of appreciation from Josef to Theodore Steinway

If you are in Philadelphia and make your way to the eight floor club at Symphony House take a look behind the Model S in residence there and you will see prominently featured and framed “Documentation!”

This story, for me, is like each Steinway… unique and priceless.

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Behind the Scenes of a Steinway Artist: Part I

julie and dan2

Steinway artist, Dan Knight, and his wife Julie.

Twenty-five years ago, before Dan and I were married, he told me he wanted to be a Steinway Artist.

“Why do you want to be a Steinway Artist?” I asked him.   I really didn’t know what it meant.

“To be a Steinway Artist,” he said, “is to be acknowledged as one of the best pianists in the world.”  No small achievement, I thought.

“So what does it take to be a Steinway Artist?” I asked.

“You have to prove you’re one of the best.   You need recommendations from other Steinway Artists.   Recordings.   Reviews.   The first thing the Steinway people ask you, though, is the serial number of your personal Steinway.   They want you to make a lifetime investment in you, before you make a lifetime investment in them.”

“They don’t just give you a piano?” I asked, innocently enough.   Dan shook his head, “No.   We have to buy one.”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Yeah, sure,” then went on with the task of fixing our dinner.  I let the spaghetti sauce cook down to the right consistency as I briefly thought about a Steinway for Dan.  I really didn’t consider it for any longer than that.

It was just that simple.   I had asked.  He had answered.  Of course he needed a piano.   Sounded like he needed a Steinway.

As we sat at the table, enjoying our meal together, I got a little more curious.

“So.   What does a Steinway cost, anyway?”

“Thousands,” he said, “tens of thousands of dollars.”   It was more money than I could imagine.   For a piano?

Dan KnightThere’s a reason they call Steinway “the instrument of the Immortals”–most of the greatest pianists and composers of the past century were Steinway Artists.   The Steinway Piano was their choice.  They’re simply the best pianos in the world.

As I learned from Dan why it was so important for him to have a Steinway, it became my dream, too.   Together we planned our budget, and started the search for the piano of his dreams.   The day he found a particular, “special” Steinway Model O, was a day that changed our lives forever.  I named her “Oline,” after my maternal grandmother.  When Dan played her, it was obvious that this was “his” piano.   Dan needed an instrument that would speak to him.   “She” was the one.

With the purchase of “Oline,” and after his audition performance at Steinway Hall in New York City two months later, Dan became a Steinway Artist.

He said, “Steinway is the instrument of dreams.”  It was a dream come true for both of us.

This grand old lady will be with us for the rest of our lives.

The voice of Steinway speaks to us, through “Oline” at home, and through the Steinway pianos which sing as Dan plays them in clubs, salons, festivals and concert halls around the world.   The sound, online casino za peniaze his sound, reaches into the hearts of audiences wherever we go.   Even when we’re at home and the audience is www.casino club online just me.

Ask me now about the value of owning a Steinway, and I’ll tell you.   I can state it in one word.

The word?

“Priceless.”

 

 

 

Attend a performance Dan Knight– learn more by clicking here

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