Rare and fully-restored grand piano to be centrepiece of presentation and concert

August 6, 2016

Man poses in front of piano
Piano technician Mark Cramer spent close to a year restoring a rare 1905 piano, which will be featured in a concert on Tuesday. Cramer will also discuss the restoration process before the concert (Courtesy Brandon Sun)

On Tuesday evening, August 9th, an authentically-restored, century-old grand piano with an intriguing local story will be featured onstage at Brandon University.

This rare Blüthner grand piano, made of exotic Rosewood, was built in Leipzig, Germany in 1905. Blüthner pianos, known for their singing-tone, featured a mysterious, patented over-string that adds a unique silvery-quality to the sound. How this exotic European musical instrument actually ended up in Manitoba is a fascinating story in itself, to be revealed on this special evening.

Over the past year, this instrument has undergone extensive renovations, including replacement of the piano’s delicate soundboard, which is considered the heart of the piano.

“The original soundboard was so badly-cracked, reusing it simply wasn’t an option,” says Mark Cramer, Brandon University’s resident piano technician, who directed the restoration. “The art of restoring pianos of this vintage, is to have a guiding-vision of the instrument’s original tone and touch, so that we can hear music today, the way it would have sounded over a century ago.”

Cramer will give a pre-concert talk, sharing photographs of the year-long restoration, along with intriguing details of this instrument’s past lives. Later that evening, several distinguished pianists with significant local connections of their own, will take the stage to perform a mini-concert of piano solos showcasing the Blüthners signature sound.

Entitled “The Art of Restoration,” this presentation is the opening feature of Augustfest 2016, a casual-comfortable summertime homecoming of International Artists and Musicians with Westman roots, sharing music, art and lively discussion. Everyone is welcome!

A question and answer session and a reception will follow.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Cramer, RPT
Registered Piano Technician

Grant Hamilton
Marketing Communications Officer