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It's been many, many years now, but I feel the need to apologize to Rich G. Years ago, I was working as a Concert & Artists rep at one of Cunningham's.... let's just say... competitors. It seems as though they were going through a back & forth battle dealing with restorations of a certain name brand of piano, and I was duped into going to Cunningham and trying to gather some dirt. I was young, naive, and needing that paycheck, so I did what I was told.

I was also told that everyone and everything at Cunningham's was pure evil. I have been on this forum long enough to see what good Rich does for everyone here, and all his customers. I now know that was I was being fed was a load of rubbish, and for believing that, and doing what I did, I'm sorry.

I shortly left that place of employment, and went into the field of music education, where I am still today. I enjoy reading through these postings every day or two, and just felt like, after all these years, I needed to get this off my chest.

I feel much better now.... Cheers!


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I was also told that everyone and everything at Cunningham's was pure evil.

I was about to take a bite of ice cream when I read this and nearly spit it out. He is such a friendly and nice guy it seems impossible that opinion could come from a personal acquaintance.

I'm glad you could get that off your chest, and I hope we can all get along! We all love pianos, after all.


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Wow, it's rare to see/hear a statement like this these days of "dog-eat-dog" economics/politics and the survival of the fittest, or strongest; especially in the piano business. My hat is off to you, mahermusic. smile

All the best,

Rick


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Wow,

Thank you for that mahermusic. It is totally unnecessary and totally appreciated!

Originally Posted by mahermusic
Years ago, I was working as a Concert & Artists rep at one of Cunningham's.... let's just say... competitors. It seems as though they were going through a back & forth battle dealing with restorations of a certain name brand of piano...


Ah yes, it is clear to me now. I think the local dealer for that brand liked to "educate" their staff with "facts".
- we could not rebuild a piano
- anything we touched was somehow tainted
- etc.

The fact was that we scared him. I get that.

Mahermusic, if you are still in the Philadelphia area, I invite you to stop by, take another tour, and see what's cooking here these days. I think you might be impressed.

Thank you again for the post.


Rich Galassini
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Friends:

Well, it doesn't take much to "fill in the blank."

When I was a young and oh so innocent student at the Curtis ('68-'71), the local S&S dealer, whose name will live in infamy, specialised in selling new, virtually unplayable Astoria-made pianos and in displaying rebuilt instruments, all sizes from S through D, including the occasional C, that were total horror-shows. They had some concert dept. Ds that set the standard for ugly and unplayable. Sadly, there is a truly wonderful recording of the Rach 3 with Ashkenazy and Ormandy that was made on one of those pianos. The performance is world-class but the piano tone disappoints at every turn.

Is it any wonder they were afraid of Cunningham's ? Rich, your hard work and devotion to an ideal have reaped well-earned rewards, not least of which is the admiration of many, many pianists.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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It's funny because in the UK, there is the brand that reigns supreme on the concert platform (guess which one), and they do say in their London showroom that pianos rebuilt by their factory are the only 100 percent authentic rebuilds. They have said however, that it's not that other rebuilders do BAD work, it's just no longer 'authentic'.

They also say some things like, the only pianos worth spending money on rebuilding is their brand, and I've even heard one of them say quite seriously, that they are the only manufacturer making 9' concert grands. When I challenged that, it was changed to 'making 9' concert grands that regularly appear on concert stages throughout the world'.

But in the UK it would actually be illegal for them to say 'We do good work, but X shop does bad work' and they could find themselves in bother if anyone bothered to take them to task on it (which used to be unlikely but the UK is starting to get a bit trigger happy with litigation....)

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Wow, I spit out my ice-cream too......and I wasn't eating any! What guts, bravo and well done. In my line of work, seemingly nobody ever wants to take responsibility for their actions. It's always someone else who should shoulder the blame for their problems and issues.

Equally impressive were the warm words from Rich. Again, well done guys, shows real character. Totally unexpected and refreshing to witness......blob.


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Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Friends:

Well, it doesn't take much to "fill in the blank."

When I was a young and oh so innocent student at the Curtis ('68-'71), the local S&S dealer, whose name will live in infamy, specialised in selling new, virtually unplayable Astoria-made pianos and in displaying rebuilt instruments, all sizes from S through D, including the occasional C, that were total horror-shows. They had some concert dept. Ds that set the standard for ugly and unplayable. Sadly, there is a truly wonderful recording of the Rach 3 with Ashkenazy and Ormandy that was made on one of those pianos. The performance is world-class but the piano tone disappoints at every turn.

Is it any wonder they were afraid of Cunningham's ? Rich, your hard work and devotion to an ideal have reaped well-earned rewards, not least of which is the admiration of many, many pianists.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY



YEGADS! If anything, this is an understatement, Karl!

Ghastly sound from that piano. I only had to listen to the first 60 seconds or so of the first movement.



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I'll say it again, and every chance I get:

"Cunningham Pianos - the NEW American Standard"



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Originally Posted by Music Me
I'll say it again, and every chance I get:

"Cunningham Pianos - the NEW American Standard"



They sell pianos, not plumbing fixtures!


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Does Rich sell Kohler of Kohler?


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Rich -

So sorry a few spoiled what I was trying to say. You personally know my feelings regarding Cunningham Pianos AND Cunningham Piano as as a rebuilder and retailer. I personally think it stinks (refraining from using a more derogatory phrase - I'm better than that) when others try to erase positive sentiments or compliments with their attempt at humor. Its one of the reasons I really shy away from posting anything on these blogs. I DO have a sense of humor - but, I was attempting to give you props in my own terms.

See you soon,


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Originally Posted by mahermusic
It's been many, many years now, but I feel the need to apologize to Rich G. Years ago, I was working as a Concert & Artists rep at one of Cunningham's.... let's just say... competitors. It seems as though they were going through a back & forth battle dealing with restorations of a certain name brand of piano, and I was duped into going to Cunningham and trying to gather some dirt. I was young, naive, and needing that paycheck, so I did what I was told.


Would you mind sharing the location (even the state) of the competitor? I may have a piano rebuilt and I am a piano teacher as well. You can PM me if you'd like. Thanks!


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Barbara - Relax!

I don't think that anyone thought your post was anything but positive. However, Rich has a sense of humor and I trust he didn't take the good nature interjections as other than light banter.

And, if his head swells too much, you might notice a little gray!

laugh


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Originally Posted by chasingrainbows
Would you mind sharing the location (even the state) of the competitor? I may have a piano rebuilt and I am a piano teacher as well. You can PM me if you'd like. Thanks!

Um Chopin Fantasie,

Do you really want to know about the competitor? I think most would agree that a visit to see Rich, co-owner of Cunningham Piano Company in Philadelphia, would be well worth your time if you are in that area. They have one of the finest rebuilding shops in the USA.


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They also sell wonderful new pianos, as I well know based on my own experience.

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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur
They also sell wonderful new pianos, as I well know based on my own experience.


Ditto!


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Originally Posted by Rickster
Wow, it's rare to see/hear a statement like this these days of "dog-eat-dog" economics/politics and the survival of the fittest, or strongest; especially in the piano business. My hat is off to you, mahermusic. smile


Cup half full … cup half empty. Although the confession is cathartic, the offense points to an industry rife with serious ethical issues. And this is, of course, not the first example.

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It's been many years now, but I too feel the need to apologize to Rich G.

Years ago, I was on holiday...let's just say... somewhere in Spain. I was eating lunch at a third-rate sidewalk cafe when I snatched the Cinzno ashtray off the table and pocketed it. Then I left inconspicuously without paying for my meal. The next morning I stole the bathmat from my hotel room and checked out hurriedly with the bathmat wrapped around my head to disguise my identity.

I know now that those actions were very wrong and I am so-o-o bummed out about the whole thing. But at that time I was young, naive, and hungry. I hadn't eaten in 3 weeks. I desperately needed that mat for my bathroom and I needed the ashtray too. I smoked like a chimney in those days and my crushed butts were all over the floor. I was down on my luck and just couldn't afford to pay for those items.

Shortly thereafter I left the city where I was staying and took up residence in a Benedictine Abbey where I spent the next 36 years cleaning the latrines and cleansing my soul.

Rich,

I am so-o-o sorry for any harm my actions night have done to you personally or to your business interests.

Auntie T



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Originally Posted by turandot
Years ago, I was on holiday...let's just say... somewhere in Spain. I was eating lunch at a third-rate sidewalk cafe when I snatched the Cinzno ashtray off the table and pocketed it. Then I left inconspicuously without paying for my meal. The next morning I stole the bathmat from my hotel room and checked out hurriedly with the bathmat wrapped around my head to disguise my identity.

I know now that those actions were very wrong and I am so-o-o bummed out about the whole thing. But at that time I was young, naive, and hungry. I hadn't eaten in 3 weeks. I desperately needed that mat for my bathroom and I needed the ashtray too. I smoked like a chimney in those days and my crushed butts were all over the floor. I was down on my luck and just couldn't afford to pay for those items.

Shortly thereafter I left the city where I was staying and took up residence in a Benedictine Abbey where I spent the next 36 years cleaning the latrines and cleansing my soul.

TMI


Poetry is rhythm
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