Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1925538 - 07/11/12 06:28 PM My Visit to Cunningham's
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10474
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I spent yesterday afternoon with Rich Galassini, who, after a very nice lunch, gave me a great tour of the Cunningham Piano operation. In a way it was an “historic” tour.

Cunningham Piano Co. was founded by P. J. Cunningham in 1891 and dominantly built new pianos, Just after WWII the company was purchased by my uncle, Lou Cohen who was a piano technician working for Mr. Cunningham. Uncle Lou soon changed the focus of the company from building new pianos to the rebuilding and restoration of old uprights and grands. Old-timers in the business will remember the cut “mirror” uprights that were a mainstay of Cunningham’s business in the mid- to late-40’s. (My father got started in the piano business working for Lou, his older brother). Cunningham’s was run by Lou until his death in 1978 and then by his daughters Rose and Doris until they sold the business to managers Rich Galassini and Tim Oliver in 2008.



A Portrait of my Uncle Lou and Me


I was born and lived in Philadelphia until I was 12 years old. Now 63, and before my visit yesterday, I had only fleeting memories of Cunningham’s facilities in Philly. Re-visiting it yesterday brought back many of these memories. My most interesting realization was that very little has changed! The rebuilding factory was just as I remembered. Old creaky wooden floors; open beam ceilings, rough hewn oak pillars, and an almost complete lack of the machinery I am used to seeing in the many new piano-manufacturing facilities I have visited worldwide. This is a “hand-built” operation. The most striking difference was, based on the completed rebuilds I saw, was the improved quality of the workmanship. The level of detailing was excellent. The showroom was also basically unchanged.



A "Hand-work" Shop




Traditional "Old-style" Workshop


One of the reasons I visited Cunningham’s is that it no longer is financially feasible for me to continue in-house rebuilding at my Baltimore-based retail operation, Jasons Music Center. We simply don’t get enough rebuilding jobs to justify the space and manpower. A month ago I sent a Steinway O that we took in trade to Cunningham’s for a complete rebuild. I was anxious to see samples of Rich and Tim’s completed rebuilding. I needed a little reassurance that, if I recommended or sub-contracted rebuilding jobs for my client-base, that they would be getting first-class work. It’s one thing to send up a piano I own, but quite another to send one of our customer’s piano out for work. I needed to be able to say that I saw the quality of the workers, the facilities, and the finished products, and that I had full confidence my client’s piano would come back in true “like new” condition.



Rich at a voicing and regulation station



Final Prep


I also need to have confidence in the integrity and business philosophy of the company’s principals. That need has been satisfied by my years of observation of what Rich and Tim have done with Cunningham’s, I followed Cunningham Piano all my life as it is one of my extended family’s companies, (along with Wilmington Piano Company founded by my uncle Jack; the Martin Piano Company founded by my uncle Marty; and the Kensington Piano Company and Jasons Piano and Organ Company founded by my father). Rich and Tim’s work ethic and service to their customers (as well as the thousands who have been given advice by Rich here on Piano World) coupled with their innovative marketing and promotions (Rich is on TV and in the news more often than Wolf Blitzer!), leave no room for doubt that using Cunningham’s for my rebuilding needs going forward is the right decision.

If any of you are in the Philadelphia area, have Rich give you the same tour he gave me….chauffeured limousine that picks you up at the train station…pheasant-under-glass- fine dining… that great souvenir Roland digital grand…….

Thanks for the hospitality Rich and Tim, it was indeed historic for me!

_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#1925564 - 07/11/12 07:42 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8527
Loc: Georgia, USA
Nice write-up and photos, Steve!

I've always been a history buff... my interest in pianos is something relatively new, but the history there is intersting too.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#1925604 - 07/11/12 10:43 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Terrific photos and entertaining story!

I'm going to be in Philly in a few weeks for the American Numismatic Association annual convention. Can't wait for my chauffeured limo and digital grand, though I'll pass on the pheasant. wink
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#1925624 - 07/11/12 11:27 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1196
Loc: Qubec, Canada
Very nice facility, and history is always great.

You might want to check the spelling in the title of this thread.

All the best!
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

Top
#1925691 - 07/12/12 03:41 AM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Monica K.]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9222
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Terrific photos and entertaining story!

I'm going to be in Philly in a few weeks for the American Numismatic Association annual convention. Can't wait for my chauffeured limo and digital grand, though I'll pass on the pheasant. wink


Monica!

I can't wait either!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

Top
#1925694 - 07/12/12 03:50 AM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9222
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Steve,

Thanks for that post. Obviously, your cousins Rose and Doris are still like mothers to me. They ran the company like they guided their children. They truly care for it which is why they turned over the operation to Tim and I.

They could have made more money by doing something else but it was most important to them that someone that they trusted and who shared their passion and vision continue.

I am honored that they feel that way about Tim and I and they are still available to us when we want their thoughts.

I kind of wish PJ and Lou were still available.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

Top
#1925747 - 07/12/12 09:14 AM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1775
Steve: Great post, and I love the pictures. I think you look a lot like your uncle.

Rich: Why do you persist in keeping the location of your fountain of youth a secret? There are a lot of us out here who could use a chance at access to it!

It's terrific that Cunningham is continuing and building on such a fascinating history.

Top
#1925832 - 07/12/12 12:47 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 541
Loc: Upstate New York
The fountain of youth secret? It's the pheasant-under-glass. If you are financially constrained just use the glass. smile

Those pictures remind me of my visit. Great place.
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

Top
#1925855 - 07/12/12 01:35 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Steve, this is a great report -- thanks so much for posting it.

Your Uncle Lou was a fine-looking gentleman!
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

Top
#1925863 - 07/12/12 02:11 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: ClsscLib]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10474
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Steve, this is a great report -- thanks so much for posting it.

Your Uncle Lou was a fine-looking gentleman!


Good looks runs in the family. smile
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

Top
#1925870 - 07/12/12 02:35 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Speaking of which, how is your puppy doing? We need another photo!
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

Top
#1925888 - 07/12/12 03:29 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
In reading that historical synopsis of Cunningham pianos I'm wondering if they started
restorations just after WWII just how old/age were those pianos in need of refurbishing?
were there really that many it could support a thriving business?

Top
#1925895 - 07/12/12 03:53 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Bob Newbie]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10474
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
In reading that historical synopsis of Cunningham pianos I'm wondering if they started
restorations just after WWII just how old/age were those pianos in need of refurbishing?
were there really that many it could support a thriving business?


As i understand it most of the pianos they restored in those days were 1870-1900s uprights and square grands. It was a thriving business as pianos were very popular.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

Top
#1926164 - 07/13/12 06:09 AM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Nice write up, Steve.

I can attest that the showroom has changed a great deal, at least since I have been calling on them. After Rich and Tim took over, there were subtle but noticeable changes in the appearance and refinement of the showroom every time I visited. In fact I think that brilliant red wall you're standing against is new.

I haven't been there in a little while (I know, Rich, I know), so I expect I'll be quite impressed by the changes they've made in the meantime (probably the red carpet leading to Rich's desk will have been updated).

Nice historical connection between you guys!
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

Top
#1926839 - 07/14/12 09:47 PM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
CoolPianoStuff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 92
What a tremendous story. Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
http://www.CoolPianoStuff.com/

Top
#1926934 - 07/15/12 02:00 AM Re: My Visit to Cunningham's [Re: Steve Cohen]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2381
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Wow, Steve, thank you for sharing.

I was supposed to head east to Philly a couple of years ago for a meetup at Cunningham, and had to cancel at the last minute. Now I wish more than ever I had been able to make that trip.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Getting back into it
by Upside
27 minutes 25 seconds ago
In search of my piano name Brand
by Leoni
54 minutes 27 seconds ago
"Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea
by Zach Evans
Today at 02:13 PM
Advice Digital Piano < 800 GPB
by Altair
Today at 02:09 PM
MIDI to USB adapters?
by Mark NM
Today at 12:32 PM
Who's Online
162 registered (accordeur, 255, AEMontoya, 43 invisible), 1504 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76224 Members
42 Forums
157565 Topics
2314381 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission