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Samuel Ben-Horin's personal and business blog - stories related to piano and piano repair, tuning, performances and artists. Samuel Ben-Horin (Samuel Ben Horin), a professional in the piano business for over 40 years.

Name: Samuel Ben-Horin

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bernstein at La Scala

In the mid 80s, Leonard Bernstein directed at La Scala an all-Stravinsky concert. The program included Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms with three pianos: two solo Steinway Ds and a Steinway B as part of the orchestra. A beautiful performance – the orchestra and choir, I thought, performed magnificently.

The program was scheduled to be repeated outdoors at the central Piazza della Loggia in Brescia, a large city east of Milan. At the same piazza, in 1974, a bomb which was said to have been placed by a neo-fascist group, killed eight innocent victims and caused enormous outrage all over Italy. La Scala Orchestra was there to commemorate the sad massacre.

So the movers who brought the three pianos, by accident, ripped fifteen middle section dampers off a Steinway D. I had less than an hour to repair the damage, tune three pianos while the orchestra was warming up, and not go crazy.

That concert was memorable. Someone told me, though, that such problems are better solved before they occur.

Posted by: Samuel Ben-Horin.