For the past three Saturday evenings I have had the extraordinary good fortune to practice in Steinway Hall on several of their 9 foot Model D Concert Grands. Deep in the basement on West 57th Street in Manhattan is Steinway’s concert department, where instruments are readied for performances at such legendary sites as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. On November 4th, the first concert of my sextet will take place in a brownstone that is often the home to classical concerts. I am grateful to Arash (Joey) Amini, the cellist in the group, for arranging the venue, which boasts a Steinway Model D Grand. My piano, a gorgeous Steinway M, meticulously maintained by Ismael Cunha, a master tuner from their concert division, is considerably smaller and plays differently than a D, and so I have needed some experience on the larger instrument in order to be comfortable in November. So there I was, surrounded by posters of such luminary Steinway artists as Vladimir Horowitz, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Mitsuko Uchida, practicing on the very instruments they have used in concert. What a thrill!
The bass notes from these massive pianos are really deep and full. The treble has been voiced with a beautiful, singing, bell like tone that is a delight to play. Wow, am I lucky!