Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In summer 2009 Dongsok and I purchased an antique fortepiano (circa 1785) from a wonderful gentleman on the Upper West Side. Although the instrument was playing, we didn't feel it was living up to the potential sound it should be making. We had some initial work done on it by Marco DeLellis, piano restorer in Queens. It became clear from what he found and from what we researched on our European travels that the instrument was almost certainly made by Karl Benedict of Graz, Austria; probably had restorations in the 1940s and 1970s; and has a replacement the soundboard which likely dates from the 1940s work, with too much thickness and incorrect bridge placement.
So, today we shipped the piano back to Marco for a new soundboard of correct historical design, to match the soundboard on the other original Benedict pianos we have visited in Ptuj, Slovenia, and Ashburnham, Massachusetts.
In a few months, the Benedict piano will be back, ready for concerts!