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#1428262 - 05/02/10 10:35 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Ed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/01
Posts: 931
Loc: Pensacola, FL
I'm now into the last half of my 6-month stint here in Germany; loving it, and the weather is fabulous right now, though some nights can be cool. I have no special connections with any piano people, places, or things, but will be glad to help provide input/insight as I can.
_________________________
Ed
Neurodoc
My (very dated) Web Site

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#1428339 - 05/02/10 01:15 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Piano World
Hope you can make it Del, it would be fun to have you and Barbara along.

Do you know the dates for the PTG in 2011?

- FB


July 13-17, 2011 - Kansas City
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1428370 - 05/02/10 02:15 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Milano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/25/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Milan Italy
I am in Italy but would be really interested in this trip. June is probably best in the countries mentioned. I will be in Warsaw later in May-they are celebrating 200 years from Chopin's birth and a new Chopin museum opened 1 March. I will try to see it and keep you posted.
_________________________
Milano

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#1431362 - 05/07/10 10:24 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Milano]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3910
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Very interested. Will keep watching as plans firm up.

jeo
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1431842 - 05/07/10 09:36 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Agilita]
JamesD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Brandon, MS
I would love to go in 2011. Let's firm up the dates. A two week trip would be great and we could really do some serious. I would be looking to share a room with some Piano Forum member.

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#1431959 - 05/08/10 01:37 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Bachsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: McFarland, WI 53558
Yes, I would definitely like to be included on the tour of european piano factories. Keep me posted please
_________________________
1904 Henry F. Miller Concert Grand * 2002 Estonia 190 Satin Bubinga * 2008 Schulze-Pohlman vertical 125 polished cherrywood peacock design * 2008 Schoenhut minature grand (49 keys) * 2008 Roland Digital Harpsichord, 2010 Roland FP-4 (88 key slab).

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#1432230 - 05/08/10 01:06 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
BritishJim Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 14
I am a US citizen working in the UK and have been learning piano tuning & repair in preparation for my retirement from my Engineering Job. My wife and I are ready to meet up with your tour in Europe whenever you schedule it. Look forward to signing up!
-British Jim
_________________________

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#1432462 - 05/08/10 05:57 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: BritishJim]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thanks for all the responses everyone, we will keep you posted as we firm up the plans. We have a number of options for which piano shops to visit. I have to get back in touch with them to make sure they can accomodate us (and find out how many people they can handle on a tour).

In the meantime, you might want to add this thread to your watched topics.

Best,

Frank B.
Piano World

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#1433242 - 05/09/10 10:16 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
sweetpea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 5
I might be interested. I am new to Piano Forum and have been watching, but not posting. Never been much of a blogger, but this is too much fun to stay on the side lines....

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#1433586 - 05/10/10 01:02 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: kpembrook]
bhope Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 7
I am definitely interested. May/June sounds best.

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#1435228 - 05/12/10 03:02 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: bhope]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
I forgot to ask our agent, and she's on leave right now.

Anybody from the areas we are planning to visit, or anybody that has visited
them recently... Germany / Austria / Italy.

Do you know what the availability is of high-speed Internet service (hotels, etc.)?

I will need to be able to stay in touch (2 weeks away is too much), and I presume some others might like to have some access.

- Frank B.
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#1435478 - 05/12/10 11:40 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
I live in Vienna. I also travel quite a bit so know what you mean. Most hotels, even small ones, will have high speed internet. Same in germany and I am pretty sure Italy too.

Wireless is pretty common, but sometimes you must use DSL phone cable. Just in case, be sure to bring the correct telephone adapter. Also, many hotels offer use of their own desktops already set up for internet.

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#1438681 - 05/17/10 11:14 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: tnew]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thanks tnew,

Which reminds me, I need to check with my cell phone carrier. I believe you can switch the sim card to use a U.S. phone in Europe (?)

Oh, and aren't the outlets different from ours?
(Ours are 120 volt with two side by side vertical slots, and one round slot under, sorta like a smiley face).

I'll be glad when our travel agent gets back :-)
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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#1438712 - 05/17/10 11:59 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
I never bought into the cell phone fad (though I have one for when I travel). But I do know that you need a multiband phone to use yours in Europe. Triband at least. Most basic US cell phones won't work in Europe because they are only dual band. Check yours for the multi bandwidth.

If your cell phone is at least triband, and assuming you have a service contract that allows for international calls, you can use your US sim anywhere. I never change mine out. It's true that if you can get a local one, it is definitely cheaper to call. Unfortunately you usually need a local address to get one. Instead, most people buy a calling card for cell phones that gives a discount rate. Usually the best ones are the ones you buy in the country you are visiting. I can help you with that if you choose to get a calling card.

One other point, you might want to check out skype for making phone calls through your laptop. That is even cheaper.

The outlets are 220volts. Your cell phone and laptop should adjust automatically without having to flip a switch on the device or use a transformer. I have used mine with both voltages with no problem. Check the user manuals and the tiny text written on the charger of your device just to be sure(it should say something like 110-230volts which means it will work everywhere in between those voltages).

If it switches automatically, you only need an adapter for the plug. Those are cheap. You plug your US cord into the adapter which gives you the correct prong type to plug into the wall.

Devices that don't extend to the range of 220 or 230 volts must use a transformer. Usually those are small devices (like razors) and you can buy a little travel transformer. You likely won't need one if the only devices you have are the cell phone and laptop, which as I mentioned probably already are capable of up to 220/230 volts.

Oh, and in case it wasn't noticeable, I have spent a lot of time traveling and having to solve these same problems too!

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#1438885 - 05/18/10 10:09 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: tnew]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thanks again tnew, much appreciated. I also hope to get to your country one day soon.

I did pick up that you must do a lot of traveling :-)

And you've likely picked up by now that I haven't.
I've never been to Europe so I'm very excited about this trip.

I love old architecture, history, music, good food, and meeting new people.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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#1439013 - 05/18/10 01:08 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
My pleasure. Hopefully you will get the chance to visit here for the european piano factory tour. I definitely want to make an effort to join the group, because it sounds like it will be a super good time. I'm an expat from the US by the way. But since I have been in Austria for so many years now and probably will be for 100 more, I guess that makes me something like an ameripian.


Edited by tnew (05/18/10 01:09 PM)

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#1440803 - 05/21/10 07:54 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: kpembrook]
mjs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 365
Loc: München, Germany
I most likely won't join in, since I have personally visited quite a few of the manufacturers myself already, BUT

a) if there are questions regarding transport within Germany, accommodation (of Western countries, Germany has some of the lowest hotel costs, by the way), I'll help if I can

b) should the trip end up also coming to Munich (Piano Fischer have the complete range of Faziolis on show here, as they do in Stuttgart), depending on timing and size of group, there may be a possibility of a meet-up at our place or I can give suggestions for good beergardens.

If your time permits: August Förster in Löbau (which is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or so from Leipzig (Großpösna is near Leipzig) by train) is also worth seeing - they are, together with Steingraeber, probably the most hands-only manufacturer. From Löbau, it is not far to Seifhennersdorf, where Bechstein have their German manufacturing (how much you can see there, I don't know - I have heard varying stories). On that route, it would be possible to do a stop-over in Dresden, which is definitely worth-while.

Markus
_________________________
Steingraeber D-232 # 45 777
Neupert Telemann harpsichord

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#1440809 - 05/21/10 08:04 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: mjs]
mjs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 365
Loc: München, Germany
Forgot to say:

Most hotels have WiFi-access and there is quite a number of T-Mobile WiFi hotspots around (in stations, cafés, phonebooths etc.). Also, 3G/UMTS coverage is very comprehensive, certainly in the larger towns and cities, but - depending on your contract - roaming charges for data-transfers can be horrific (which is a general problem, not limited to Germany).

As long as your phone is a dual-band, i.e. has either 800MHz or 1800MHz in addition to the standard US 1900MHz band, it would work here, providing your contract permits roaming outside the US. As someone has mentioned, it will be a lot cheaper, though, to by a Germany pre-paid card if you intend to make more than just a few phone calls.

All this also applies to Austria or Italy.
_________________________
Steingraeber D-232 # 45 777
Neupert Telemann harpsichord

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#1440823 - 05/21/10 08:30 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: mjs]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thanks Markus, your input is much appreciated.

One of our biggest challenges is narrowing down our list of piano builders and places to visit.
I find it fascinating that Europe has so many cultures and so much history in such a (relatively) small area.
It appears that one could start in Frankfurt and traveling out 250 miles in any direction, end up in
Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, or Switzerland.

In the US the same distance would only cover a few states.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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#1442012 - 05/23/10 07:48 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Quote:
It appears that one could start in Frankfurt and traveling out 250 miles in any direction, end up in
Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, or Switzerland.


Which is why Europeans are so much more into learning languages than we. In your example, there are 6 different languages within 250 miles of Frankfurt.
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1442062 - 05/23/10 10:51 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Bart Kinlein]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Hmm, I'd love to go. Not sure if I can make it though, we'll find out once we get a more firm date set for this. laugh

Lovely idea, though!
_________________________

Student/apprentice technician

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#1448108 - 06/01/10 02:01 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Pianosaurus Rex]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
decided to wait to apply for the italy fellowship. will definitely think about joining the group if i can swing it financially. (hm, maybe time to consider getting an assignment to go back to that part of the world.)
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1448585 - 06/02/10 04:25 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: piqué]
mjs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 365
Loc: München, Germany
An absolute must to see is Steingraeber in Bayreuth, I think you should arrange all other things around that. Bayreuth is also a nice little town with things to see in a day.
I cannot say too much about the others (I would assume that the respective dealers have more info), apart from that Förster in Löbau is quite similar, but doesn't have the added bonus of a company "museum" as Steingraeber have it.
The two airports in Germany that offer the best intercontinental connections are Frankfurt and Munich (in that order). Frankfurt has the advantage of being connected to the mainline and high speed rail network, whereas from Munich airport it is 40 minutes by train to the central station with all the connections. Frankfurt is also more central in Germany, but I think Munich as a city has a lot more to go for it than Frankfurt. Munich to Vienna is about 4 hours by train in case you wish to see Bösendorfer, and Fazioli is probably about 5 hours by train to the nearest station from Munich.
_________________________
Steingraeber D-232 # 45 777
Neupert Telemann harpsichord

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#1448699 - 06/02/10 10:32 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: mjs]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Thank you mjs, we are definitely visiting Steingraeber, and now also Hamburg Steinway (still working on the others)...

From Steingraeber:

Dear Mr Baxter,

Thank you very much for your Email to Udo Steingraeber.
He is out of office at the moment and he will receive your Email as soon as possible after his return.

It would be a great pleasure for us to have you and a group of Piano World members here in our factory.
If it will be a group up to 25 persons, we will make one guidance, if the group is bigger we make two ... no problem.

In our office Irene Fleischmann plans tours like yours. She could help you with hotel,
city guidance, etc. Please don't hesitate to contact her for all further questions and the time schedule.

Very sincerely Yours
Adelheid Raschke


From Hamburg Steinway:(thanks to our own Robin Meloy Goldsby (aka The Piano Girl) for contacting them on our behalf).


Factory Tour
You and the other members of the Piano World Forum are very welcome for a factory tour later in 2011. Once you know the period you shall be in Europe, please let us know so we can define a date. For your plannings, please regard that the production times are between 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. That means your visit should be in the morning.


Best wishes from sunny Hamburg,
Gerrit
----------------------------
Steinway & Sons
C & A Department
T: +49-40-8539 1148
F: +49-40-8539 1199


I am still waiting to hear back from Bluthner, and intend to also contact Fazioli and possibly August Forster and/or Grotrian.

There are so many wonderful piano makers in Europe, it's hard to narrow down the list.
And of course we want to leave time to explore Europe (I've never been, very much looking forward to it, my daughter is there now and loving it).

- Frank Baxter
Founder / Host
Piano World

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#1452775 - 06/08/10 03:46 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
And from Udo Steingraeber...



Dear Frank,


thank you for your mail ! Yes, June 2011 will be very fine. You’re welcome here in Bayreuth.

You should only avoid some traditional holidays in that area but elswhere in Europe as well :

the week 23 = 6.06.–10.06.2011

and from the 27th of June are both good.



On 2.06.2011 is a holiday and 3rd of june most factories are closed (the BDK convention is fom 2nd until 4th of June , = German PTG)

11.06. – 26.06.2011: Whitsun/Pentecost holidays and most of the factoies in south Germany are closed.



We are looking forward to assisting you in planning your stay.



Best regards

Udo

Klaviermanufaktur Steingraeber & Söhne, Friedrichstraße 2, D 95444 Bayreuth
Tel: 09 21 / 6 40 49, Fax 09 21 / 5 82 72, steingraeber@steingraeber.de; www.steingraeber.de
Steingraeber & Söhne, Piano- und Flügelfabrik KG, Sitz Bayreuth, AG Bayreuth, Registergericht HRA 366,
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
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www.PianoSupplies.com
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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#1457897 - 06/16/10 08:20 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5483
yes, there are a lot of holidays in europe! definitely get the holiday schedule before firming up the dates.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1457971 - 06/16/10 11:38 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: piqué]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
2011 holidays in S. German and Austria are (from April on):
25 April: Easter Monday
1 May: National Holiday
2 June: Ascension Day
13 June: Whit Monday
23 June: Corpus Christi
15 August: Assumption of the Virgin Mary

These are only for the Catholic areas, which includes all of Austria and only S. Germany. N. Germany doesn't necessarily recognize them. Other countries may or may not recognize them, but not likely that they have too many completely different holidays around this time period. You can probably use these as a good estimate to schedule around.

Weather is just starting to warm up as of April, though rain is frequently possible. May is a little more stable, but can go from hot to cold, dry to wet quickly. June is normally pleasant, though not this year's June.

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#1458690 - 06/18/10 07:05 AM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: tnew]
mjs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 365
Loc: München, Germany
Just to add to the holidays:

Easter Monday is a holiday everywhere in Germany (as is Good Friday - 22 April).
1 May (in Germany not called National Holiday but Labour Day) is also a holiday (in 2011 a Sunday, so not an issue) everywhere, as are Ascension Day and Whit Monday.

Corpus Christi is a holiday in all of Bavaria (not sure about other Länder), Assumption of Mary in Bavaria ONLY in municipalities with a Catholic population marjority (generally speaking that applies to the South of Bavaria but not to most areas of Franken such as Bayreuth and Nürnberg).
Saxony - for Blüthner and Förster - (which is by majority Lutheran) would not have Corpus Christi or Assumption of Mary as a holiday, but definitely the others. That also applies to Hamburg and Lower Saxony (Schimmel, Grotrian).
Probably wouldn't affect any scheduling, but 3 October is the German National Holiday.

Also, some companies shut for up to four weeks over Summer - which four weeks would depend on the school holidays in the respective Land (in Bavaria most likely in August, further North a bit earlier).
_________________________
Steingraeber D-232 # 45 777
Neupert Telemann harpsichord

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#1459050 - 06/18/10 07:18 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: mjs]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Update:

C. Bechstein has kindly invited our group (forums members/guests) to tour their facilities while we are in Europe. Our thanks to Bert Neidhardt of German American Trading Co. Inc. in Tampa, FL for spear-heading this effort.

From Bert ...
"C. Bechstein Europe would like to participate and open their doors in
Hradec Kralove ( Czech Republic ) as well as Seifhennersdorf ( Germany ) to the visitors. Of course, details have to be worked out before as to the number of participants as well as the timing. They produce C.Bechstein, Bechstein, Hoffmann and Bohemia instruments."

-----------------------------------
There is also a possibility of August Foerster in Loebau participating.

_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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#1459446 - 06/19/10 06:38 PM Re: Tour - European Piano Factories and ... [Re: Piano World]
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
We are currently awaiting word back from Blüthner.

The last time I spoke with Dr. Christian Blüthner-Haessler (last September), he was
very receptive to the idea.
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Twitter.com/PianoWorld
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Spinoff: What do we think of "technique seminars"?
by TwoSnowflakes
04/18/14 02:46 PM
Questions about Chopin Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2 in D Flat Minor
by noobpianist90
04/18/14 01:51 PM
A new performance experience... Need advice.
by Svenno
04/18/14 01:46 PM
Thoughts on the Yamaha P-255
by voxpops
04/18/14 01:17 PM
Piano Learning Myths...
by evamar
04/18/14 12:32 PM
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