Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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Dear Garrison: Wonderful show you
September 1, 2005 |
Wonderful show you got going. I enjoy each and every show. I was wondering if you could tell me the brand of piano used on the show. It sure sounds good.
Rich Dworsky replies: "The piano at the Fitz is a Steinway Model D, a 9-foot piano, the largest Steinway makes. It was purchased new in 1987. While maybe not one's first choice for the old bar room blues piano sound, the Steinway D is a world standard for classical, jazz, and popular music performance. When we play Town Hall in NY, the Steinway D is provided by Steinway and Sons on West 57th St. from their "Concert and Artist" division. They have a number of beautiful "cherry-picked " pianos that Steinway rents out for concerts and recordings exclusively, and will not sell for a few years. Elsewhere on the road, we always request a Steinway D in "concert-ready condition". Sometimes they are the hall's house piano and every once in a while we find one that has been around since the 1940s and has definitely seen its better days. So "concert-ready" seems to be open to interpretation. Generally, though, I get to play on some fantastic pianos. There are a few places, like the show coming up in Kansas, where we'll be out in an open field in the hot sun, and a $90,000 Steinway would be out of place: it wouldn't be fair to the piano (or to the artist who may have to play a Beethoven Concerto on it the following night). So I'll play on some more modest piano, which will probably sound more appropriate for the occasion."