Tour of Ruggero Piano, Venue of Tonight’s Performanceby Pat Todd on June 26, 2015
Friday morning, Ken Jens picked me up and we drove to Raleigh, about 45 minutes away, to meet Richard Ruggero and see the concert hall and the pianos. I have never seen a more beautiful piano store!
If you are allergic to dust, this is the place for you. It is spotless and bright. The Bosendorfer Concert Hall is fab. A stage, lots of seats, great lighting, and sound equipment for recording, all being set up when we arrived. I tried out the pianos on the stage. Both were nine or ten foot concert grands — one a Bosendorfer, the other a Schimmel. Magnificent instruments. I’ve always heard about Bosendorfers, very special pianos, but had never played one. It practically plays itself, so responsive, so crystal clear — a truly brilliant piano from the lowest to the highest note.
It was good to finally meet Richard Ruggero. He told me on the phone during my first conversation with him that the last Friday of the month is “Concert Night,” and that he would advertise us to his hundreds of followers. A close friend of his has kidney cancer, and he wanted to make sure that we would return next year too. This before he heard us play!
Next was a tour of the workshop in the back where they rebuild pianos, and the special showroom displaying pianos that cost as much as $80,000. Seeing is believing.
Have I mentioned the HOT muggy weather?