Steinway in LA

October 2, 2009

Jennifer Snow and I went to the grand opening of Steinway & Sons new west coast store in West Hollywood (call it Beverly Hills adjacent) last night. It is in an amazing neighborhood and is a wonderful store. There is a loft upstairs that functions as a little concert space. We visited with the store owner, Gavin English, who is very excited about the store and being a new Angelino. Ron Losby, the President of Steinway, USA, was there feeling a bit homesick for his old stomping grounds. I comforted him by saying if he ever retires, I’m sure LA would welcome him back.

The store was filled with all kinds of pianists from all over Los Angeles, all looking vaguely familiar. There was champagne and tasty wine for all.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Gavin welcomed and thanked everyone, then introduced his long time colleague, David Benoit who played two numbers. The first was a lovely, catchy love song for his wife. The second was a tribute to Dave Brubeck, who just turned 88 yesterday (“an appropriate age for today”) and played a kick-ass up tempo rendition of “Blue Rondo a la Turk.” I was in heaven. Benoit, with his impressive white grey hair, almost looked a bit like Brubeck.

I only regret that I didn’t get to meet the gentlemen who owns Steinway, who was skittering around the store the whole time looking wonderfully eccentric, and a bit like Truman Capote.

A lovely event.

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