Introducing our new piano

Photo of the piano described in the blog post

There has been a change to our setup in the Community Room, which may not be noticeable even to frequent visitors to our space. Our upright piano has most often been situated by the side entrance to the space, where from day to day it rests quietly under cover. That cover now conceals a rather different instrument: namely, our new digital piano. Through the last month library staff have worked diligently to select and acquire a digital piano. On Tuesday of this week, we received and installed our new Roland LX706PE, and bid farewell to our acoustic upright piano.

The choice to move from an acoustic to a digital instrument may seem counterintuitive, but it is the right one for the library. Our old Boston 118S PE was in some ways a suitable piano for our space. It struck a balance between quality and size, allowing us to employ it in programs such as the occasional musical performance, open-mic nights, or rentals, but also respecting the various purposes for which the Community Room must be adapted and the demand for floor space within it. In other ways, though, it became difficult to maintain, due to the space’s exposure to the elements and the frequent need to relocate the instrument within the building.

In the end, a digital instrument will allow us to support the programming which we regularly anticipate and it may allow us to explore new music programs which we may not have previously considered. It also offers a variety of functions beyond what an acoustic piano can generally do on its own not least serving as a high-quality speaker cabinet with a Bluetooth audio connection.

We are still discovering all of the wonderful things that this instrument can do. And thankfully we will have some help in the next two months. In May and June, three pianists from the New School for Music Study in Kingston will be visiting the library to offer a trio of lecture recitals exploring nineteenth and twentieth-century piano repertoire. The series begins on May 18 at 2 p.m. with Derek Hartman’s “Romantic Snapshots: Piano Miniatures of Schumann and Rachmaninoff.” Alexa Stier follows Derek at the same time on May 25 with “French Piano Music of the Long Twentieth Century.” Finally, after a brief hiatus, the series concludes on June 8, again from 2-3:30 p.m., with Gonzalo Aguilar’s “Peruvian Musical Elements in Selected Peruvian Piano Compositions by Duncker Lavalle, Ayarza de Morales, and E. Valcárcel.” Registration is requested, but not required, for these events. The programs promise a blend of celebrated, familiar repertoire and less familiar, exciting pieces from storied composers of the piano’s golden age. We are pleased to be able to offer these accomplished pianists a chance to discover this new instrument with us and we are hopeful to be able to learn from what promises to be informative discussions providing context for excellent performances.

Photo credit: Cliff Robinson

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