Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Visit in Germany

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Russell Kassman, a dear friend of R Kassman Pianos in Berkely, Ca. is in Germany and was nice enough to put in a post on the world famous www.PianoWorld.comabout his trip to Germany.  I was so jealous but, after reminding myself how beautiful Nipomo, Ca. is I decided to be satisfied with my present surroundings and live vicariously through his experiences in Germany.  I contacted him via www.Facebook.com, of course, and asked his permission to re post his report of his trip to the home of pianos.  Here it is-via R Kassman Pianos, Berkely, Ca www.RKassman.com

Repost from www.PianoWorld.com

AN EXPENSIVE DAY IN BAYREUTH!!!
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I just left Bayreuth and the Steingraeber & Sohne factory and am on my way to the Black Forest to visit the Sauter piano company. I was honored to be the first person outside of factory workers to play/test the new Steingraeber 192. THIS is going to be a fantastic piano! I am posting a picture for you to have a look. It is remarkable, and has the same action as the Steingraeber 212 – very quick and decisive and an immense amount of power for the size… think Steingraeber 170 on Steroids. All of you going on the PW European tour might be able to try it as well (if you beg and plead with Udo smile)I also played (for several hours) three Steingraeber Concert Grands and selected one to replace the one we just sold to composer Gordon Getty. The new one I selected is a fabulous instrument with majestic power and a depth of tone like the Grand Canyon. I am really excited about this instrument, BUT I am doing cartwheels about another piano I bought! During my “testing time”, two factory workers rolled in a 232 (7’6″) that had just come from being used for a recording. I sat down to try it and COULD NOT pull myself away from that piano for nearly one hour. IT IS FABULOUS. After begging, pleading, and SEVERAL glasses of Schnapps, I got Udo Steingraeber to agree to sell it to me. Anyone who wants to hear one of the finest pianos I have EVER played in my many years should either go on the PW Tour and ask Udo to play Russell’s D-232 or you can beat a path to Berkeley when it arrives.

Now, on to the Black Forest area tomorrow morning for a visit to Sauter Pianos. Wow, what a great trip but my Mastercard is screaming!

and now if I wasnt jealous enough – Post from Sauter from www.PianoWorld.com

As if my visit to Bayreuth, and the Steingraeber factory weren’t enough to cause serious damage to my credit card, my visit to Ulrich Sauter, and the Sauter factory, resulted in me being waken in the middle of the night by my credit card shreaking in agony!First, you should know that the drive from Bayreuth to Tuttlingen is quite beautiful, and as you leave the city of Stuttgart and head into the Schwarz-Wald (black forest) the scenery becomes everything you imagined as a child reading Hansel and Grethel. The Sauter factory is located in Spaichingen, which is a small town in the larger series of “stadts” of Tuttlingen (best known for the worlds most advanced surgical devices – and coo-coo clocks) and Rotweil (as in the dogs, the Romans, and the oldest community in Europe). It is also the home of the Lake of Constance which has borders on France and Switzerland, and it is where the Danube River begins – so you get the influence of German baking, French sauces and Swiss presentation. My hotel was at the wood bridge over the mouth of the Danube (you should be jealous about now). I spent my first evening, after my drive, gorging on Venison in a lingonberry sauce served with Spaetzel (sort of noodles) and Spargel, which is white asparagus that is in season. Of course, we had to have something to wash all of that down, so Uli ordered a wonderful local white wine that went perfectly with our meal. Ah, life is good. Of course, dinner was followed by more schnapps.

The next morning, a lite mist was over the valley when Uli picked me up from the hotel and we headed to the factory a few minutes up the road. My goal was to just take pictures of two pianos I already have on order for customers so that I could show them the progress and to try to get out of town without tripling my debt. Yeah, right, sure.

While going from the office area to the main factory, there was a piano sitting in the factory concert area that stopped me dead in my tracks. True, it was the look of the piano that set my heart pacing, but when I sat down to it, I was left breathless by the depth and quality of sound. While I am lucky to represent many fine piano makers, and several are of comparable quality standard, I can’t think of any that equals Sauter in its ability to make uprights that equal the musicality of most grands. Add to that the stunning quality of the furniture and you have an unbeatable combination.

This piano is called a “PURE”, and it’s cabinet was designed by Peter Maly, the “guru” of contemporary furniture design. It has a polished ebony background and the keyframe/keybed/fallboard is in polished Zambrano. Now, I had never seen or heard of Zembrano before, but Uli indicated it is in the Rosewood family. But really, saying it is like Rosewood is like saying wine is like grape juice. I am posting pictures on our FACEBOOK PAGE : LINK HERE – Scroll down to the end of the FB post for the pics.

Well, I already have a great selection of Sauter uprights in my shop, with a few on order, so I began to plot what I could possibly do to get this one. I continued on my factory tour, taking pictures of my customer’s pianos, and plotting my next move on the Zambrano upright. Luckily, later that day, I was able to catch Uli in a well planned trap.

You see, over the years I have visited the area quite a bit. And Uli knows that I won’t leave Tuttlingen without a visit to this one farmer who makes a combination apple/pear schnapps that you can buy. Oh Wait, YOU can’t buy it but I did :P. So, after lunch that is exactly where we headed. To my surprise, the farmer now has a sort of tasting room, and has added several other versions of his ware, including an “herb schnapps” which has a sort of rosemary/thyme flavor, a sort of anise schnapps, and several others – whose names I can’t remember for reasons better left untold (aka too much tasting).

So, it was in this tasting room that I decided to make my move with Ulrich, and I convinced him to let me buy this piano now, with the agreement that if I haven’t sold it by NAMM, I will let him use it for the display in January. Heheh, I guess you could say yet another German piano maker has fallen into my schnapps trap.

Together with the pianos I bought at Steingraeber, we are going to have a fantastic collection going into summer and fall. But, all that tough negotiating (read schnapps drinking) made me feel I deserved a bit of a vacation, so I headed to Zurich (one hour from Tuttlingen) and got on a plane for Barcelona – and on the beach I sit, writing this and drinking – I’ll bet you’re thinking Schnapps – no way, Sangria!

Unfortunately, all of this ends on Monday when I have to fly back home to San Francisco to open the store on Tuesday, and rejoin Weight Watchers Tuesday night. I hope all the PW members going on the European factory tour have as much fun as I have had. And take it from me, if you fall in love with a piano on your journey and want to find a way to bring it home with you, grab the factory owner and a bottle of Schnapps and see where things go!

So naturally I was very jealous!!!! I asked him if I could relate his story and he happily agreed.  I hope you enjoyed his post as much as I did.

Moving forward

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Its time we embraced modern technology and use it to get the word out about music and its effects on our daily lives.

Many years ago we  used the newspaper to make announcements such as sales, special events, etc. but, as things have begun to change it has become important that we reach out in different ways to let people know whats going on in our stores, concert halls, venues, etc.

I have such a love and passion about pianos and the piano business that I must use everything at my disposal to get the word out about our industry.

In the coming weeks I am going to discuss some history of the piano and how music evolved but in the meantime, I want us all to reflect on what “has been” but then REALLY focus on “what will be”.  We all get sentimental about the way things used to be.  Maybe we enjoyed a concert or recital, a play or performance of some kind.  Perhaps we were moved by a particular artist or student.  None of this would have been possible without music and a musician.

Social media has bought us an opportunity to bring more performers and artists to the main stage and in some cases even made them famous.  This is something that could have not been done by a newspaper.

Today I am watching CNN and its coverage of the disturbance in Cairo.  The upheaval was reportedly caused by people blogging and posting on Facebook and Twitter.  Amazing, that such a simple venue like Facebook and Twitter could be so powerful that it would actually help organize an international protest like the one in Egypt today.  A powerful tool that is at the very least very cheap or in most cases free. Amazing that we can communicate to millions with our own computers.  Amazing that we can “get the word out” as quickly and efficiently as we are capable of, but, THE MOST AMAZING OF ALL-WE ARENT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS MEDIA. I am hoping that some of the following posts will bring this full circle and we can combine some music education and love for various instruments to “get the word out” that music is important.

See you soon.

Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

Updates

Friday, January 28th, 2011

We have had tons of things going on in our world.

First, I am happy to report that we are finally working out a deal with an international piano manufacturer to handle all of their social media and electronic marketing for them. I am hoping to see that happen in the next few days.  I will keep you informed as that happens.

I opened a way to be a silent billboard for music and lessons and your favorite things about music.  If you go to www.pianosd.spreadshirt.com you will see the site where you can purchase a t-shirt or make one with your own design.  You can say anything you want, order it right there and it will be shipped directly to you or to a friend.  Stop by and check it out at the address above.

As we are building our social media for piano dealers, teachers, artists and others I hope to be able to bring you more things that will be fun and interesting.

Going into the next few weeks we are going to be discussing Social media and how it can change your life.  I noticed on the news tonight that Facebook and Twitter were the spark that started a rampage in Egypt.  With the power of that media I am hoping to send the word to as many people as I can get to read,  MUSIC IS FUN.

Trying to imagine our life without music is almost impossible.  I can’t imagine even one day of my life without music.  If you think about it neither can you.  On every hand and everywhere there is the sound of some type of music.  What a great world we live in.

I will be sending you more information about all of the above as soon as it all becomes available.

Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

SO, whats the latest?

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

By now most of you that have been following my blogs have realized that PianoSD.com is no longer in business as of July 2010.  While this has broken my heart it has also opened up huge opportunity for me personally to continue to promote music and pianos.  I have been through the grieving process and now I am ready to restart my passion for making music and promoting the piano business in a new direction.

Through this trial I have had the opportunity to talk with many of my friends and colleagues who share my interests and they are keenly aware that we have to make some changes in the industry and in our culture if we are to survive.  Through that we came to a mutual agreement that perhaps embracing modern day technology is the right answer.

Max Morgan of Max Morgan Design has helped in coming up with a workable solution to our increasingly demanding media and together we have launched a new   social media solution.  We have now begun to  offer a social media package which will include posts on social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc. as well as blogs and email blasts for piano dealers and music enthusiasts each month.  Through that we are hoping to raise the awareness of the need for music and music education.

Social Media is here.  It is going to be here for some time to come.  It’s time for us to open our lines of communication to all types of people and in so doing we hope to learn what it is that we, as an industry, can do to help people be more interested in making music.  There are so many “fun” things for us and our children to do today that the thought of learning to play a musical instrument never comes to mind.  However, I have never EVER had anyone say to me “I am sad that I learned to play a musical instrument”.  Quite the contrary, I have had LOTS of people tell me “I am so sorry that I never learned to play”. This tells me a lot.  I hope to turn that into a positive for as many people as I possibly can.

During the time that PianoSD was open in San Diego I fully understood the need to reach out to the teachers and offer as much as I possibly could.  Some people have said “see what that got you” and to that my reply is “yes, I helped as many teachers as I could give their students something that ‘life’ will never take away…….appreciation of music and in some cases developing a talent that will bring a smile to many people for many years to come”.

Follow our various blogs and posts to see what happens next.  It is going to be a very exciting journey.  This journey begins with our regular posts at www.PianoSD.com, www.MaxMorganDesign.com, www.RosemaryBaileyMusic.comwww.SorrentoValleyMusic.com.  Visit these websites and then be sure to let them know how you heard about them.  Also, watch as this list grows with innovative music dealers who are ready to branch out.

If your company is interested in a social media solution please feel free to contact us at www.PianoSD.com or www.MaxMorganDesign.com or by simply emailing Ric@PianoSD.com.

Thanks again

Ric Overton via www.PianoSD.com and www.MaxMorganDesign.com

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