Although Orpheus Piano Co. apprentice Simo has called New York City home for the last decade, he visits his home in Italy yearly, and on this trip is even working on a documentary in Florence. Fortunately, he's been able to fit in a surprising amount of piano exploration, some of which you can view on Instagram. We thought you'd enjoy this recent report Simo sent us from Italy.
And yes - as always the crew had helpful advice for this question at the letter's end!
I hope New York is treating you well. I like it here but I am also looking forward to coming back and resuming my learning with you. I have been reading all your emails and I am getting homesick for some [Brooklyn Music School]!
Florence is magical in the meantime though, as expected!
On my only day off from the documentary we're working on, I managed to visit the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori, a small but marvelous museum / repair shop on the outskirts of Florence's historic district. After making an appointment we were received by the director of the museum himself and two of the piano technicians that repair the instruments for the Accademia. Like at [Brooklyn Music School], many of the instruments there are donated to the museum by wealthy collectors, and after being restored, they are displayed in the museum of the Accademia. The repair shop will also take private client's pianos as well as contracts from the city of Florence to maintain their instruments at different venues. They now have over 30 pianos in the museum, all between 1780 and 1840. The repair shop is small, fitting only two or at the most three pianos at one time. The people in the workshop were all so nice and approachable, and it surprised me to find that all technicians were all women there. They also mentioned how unusual that is, as most technicians in Italy too are men. They gave me a quick tour of the workshop and later let me play some of the old instruments in the museum. I could not believe it, I was completely mesmerized by these instruments and the sound they produced. It was undoubtedly magical and I wish you guys were all here. But! I have to say, all instruments had horrible sounding unisons! I wanted to comment on that but I stopped myself.
I posted a few pictures of the Accademia and instruments on Instagram, if you want to take a look at a small portion of what I found there.
They had an action model of one of the first wippens with an escapement mechanism, with original parts from the time, which sadly I forgot to photograph. (Scott you would have loved it!!!)
And finally, does anybody have any piece of advice on how to address a loose pin on my mother's early 1900's upright? A pin so loose that it won't stand stand being tuned above C1 pitch when it should really be set at G#1.
When I set it at its correct pitch it just unwinds back to a lower pitch.
Let me know if you have any ideas!
Thank you so much!