Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dueling Pianos: Two Vendors in Strip Selling Used Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Opera Instruments

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dueling Pianos: Two Vendors in Strip Selling Used Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Opera Instruments

Article excerpt

But for the din of traffic speeding up and down Liberty Avenue in the Strip District, one could almost hear Saturday's dueling piano sales. Perhaps that's hyperbole, but no driver could miss the "Piano Sale!" yard signs sticking out of the ground every 20 feet or so between the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

The two sales - the opera's represented by Columbus, Ohio-based Solich Piano and the ballet's brokered by the Wexford-based Modern Piano - are touting discounted prices on pianos that have been used for rehearsals and performances by both local arts organizations.

Both sales continue Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Company representatives lauded their piano loan programs to the opera and the ballet, saying they allow the nonprofits to acquire new high-quality pianos at affordable prices, or no price at all, year after year. The funds from the sales keep the loan programs going, they said.

The competition is clear: Modern Piano boasts of being "the only authorized representative for Yamaha in Western Pa." Solich stands by its "uniqueness, largeness, and longevity surrounding the opera sale over the last decade."

But both companies pledge it's not about the money. Rather, it's about helping arts nonprofits and fostering future pianists.

"By Tuesday morning, the Opera will have new pianos," said Thomas Solich, president of Solich Piano and a concert pianist.

"There is rarely a day that those pianos that we have on loan from Solich are not used," said Bill Powers, director of artistic operations at Pittsburgh Opera.

In the cavernous room that is the George Rowland White performance space at the Pittsburgh Opera, upright, digital and grand pianos are lined in rows for the Solich sale. Used pianos from schools and other arts organizations as well as new and trade-in pianos are included in the mix. …

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