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Trip to Belgium

Posted By: Larry Buck

Trip to Belgium - 03/16/07 12:27 AM

Hi All,

Bill Shull, David Stanwood and I are traveling to Belgium this May 12th and will be flying back on Wed the 16th.

We are fortunate to be able to visit and document one of 7 Steinway Monitor Grands ever made. This is the only one we know of in existence.

We will post pics of course.

While we are out, we would enjoy meeting up with any forum members, techs or otherwise.

It is not often we get to Belgium, Of course we are interested in "International Relations" smile

Larry Buck
Posted By: whippen boy

Re: Trip to Belgium - 03/20/07 07:46 PM

If you are going to Brussels, be sure to stop at the Musical Instrument Museum. Be prepared to spend some time there!
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 03/21/07 01:39 AM

Thanks, I looked over the web site.... Very Nice !

I'll mention it, I think that one has come up and in the works, Nice to see the web site.
Posted By: schwammerl

Re: Trip to Belgium - 03/22/07 05:38 PM

Hello Larry

I suppose you are going to visit the restauration workshop at Maene pianos in Belgium to see this vintage Steinway; I know they have quite a reputation for that type of work?

I am just an ordinary forum member - pîano owner from Belgium, so I probably am not the kind of people you are looking for to meet if your aim is to exchange technical expertise. But if you want you can always e-mail me your touring schedule in Belgium through this forum.

Enjoy your stay and don't forget to taste the hundreds of different beers (not an expert in that department either) or chocolate if you prefer!

Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 03/23/07 08:46 PM


It would be a pleasure to meet you.
I am looking to meet everyone interested, tech or otherwise,

Thank You for saying hello, I'll post our plans as they evolve.

Posted By: Rick A

Re: Trip to Belgium - 04/07/07 10:26 AM

Hello Larry and the others that are coming to Belgium. My name is Dieter Machielsen and I am a 37 years old grand piano rebuilder from Antwerp Belgium. My company is named MELODI. Great that you're coming to Belgium. Apart from going to Brussels you should certainly also visit Antwerp wich is the second biggest city in Belgium, known for its cathedral, diamond centre, fashion and great cultural heritage. Did you know that in the 17th and 18th century we had worldknown clavichord builders in Antwerp, like for instance Ruckers.
I would be honoured to welcome you in my (little)workshop where I rebuild subtop grand pianos from 1870 to 1930 of brands like Bechstein, Blüthner, Rönisch, Pleyel, Bösendorfer a.s.o.
Maybe two other places to see is the collection of Chris Maene in Brussels and the collection of Peter van Heirseele in Ostend (where Marvin Gaye used to recover). Maene also built three copies of the first (1837) Steinway fortepiano. I saw his presentation at the pianotuner and rebuilders gathering in Antwerp last week. A fact is that he always runs off with all the cradits, it's always Maene here, Maene there, when there is a lot of other interesting people in pianoland in Belgium. One of them is Peter van Heirseele, a.k.a. Herrseele, he has a great collection of historical uprights and grands, Belgium made and European. If I ask him I'm shure he would be thrilled to show you around.
I can also show you around in Antwerp, I lived there for my whole life, and it's worth the deviation (40 min. by car or train from Brussels)
Feel free to contact me at 0032 486 203 202 (cellphone) or 0032 3 216 05 70 (phone)
My email address is info@melodi.be
kind regards
Posted By: JohnEB

Re: Trip to Belgium - 04/07/07 04:31 PM

Hi Larry and friends, sounds like you already have a lot lined up for you on your visit! I'll be moving house around that time so it'll be a little difficult to meet up, but I can happily help with hotel reccomendations, travel advice, etc.

Be sure to try some good Belgian beer while you're here, and of course mussels with chips.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 04/07/07 10:20 PM

Thank You Rick and John,

I would like to meet you all as well, Rick, see your shop ..

Where there is a will there is a way ....

Thank You.

Sorry to rush off, I have an appointment in a short bit.
I'll check back here after the weekend..

Posted By: NikolaTesla

Re: Trip to Belgium - 04/09/07 01:53 PM

Sounds nice smile
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/05/07 01:30 AM

Hi Dieter, John and Schwammerl,

We would like to make arrangments to meet up with you folks.

Any chance we could exchange emails?

I'll try to send some PM's

I am in New York until Sunday eve, then back home.

Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/13/07 06:44 PM

Here we re in Belgium.

What a beautiful country.

Piano's everywhere !!!

We are out for dinner, we'll be back later.

Posted By: Piano World

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/14/07 12:35 PM

I'm jealous.

I hope you're taking lots of pictures, and I hope you (and the others) plan to post a full report.

Have a great time.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/15/07 05:27 AM

I have visited 2 of the most incredable piano museums here as well as a Steinway dealer who is also a maker of historic instruments.


I have tons of pictures but unfortunately no way to upload them as yet.

Had dinner in a 600 year old square last night.
That was interesting.

Funny, you start taking pictures of things here because it is so interesting. very qickly you realize you would ending up photographing the entire country if you are not carefull.

We are looking at Steinway's Monitor grand, the 1st one ever produced. It has a cast iron frame above and below the sound board.

The sound board was put in and then the side of the piano put on. If you want to replace the sound board, you have to take the side of the piano off.

I also saw a Theodore Steinway piano he made before he moved to the States. 1st known surving grand ever built. Serial Number 181.
Built with a lot of New York parts.

Yes pics.
I'll upload pics after I return.
Posted By: lilylady

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/16/07 11:26 AM

Looking forward to more info and pics! I don't even know what a 'monitor' grand is.

BTW, are you planning on a lecture/picture show somewhere? Might be another good reason for a piano party!

Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/18/07 12:19 PM

Thanks LL.

I am putting together a couple of pages of pictures for people to view.

Belgium is a beautiful country and I took over 400 photo's of the countryside and pianos.

Editing is a bit of work.

I put up a picture of a Rippen piano I encountered in a Museum, on "Piano Forum"

It was designed with a reverse crown Sound Board.
Interesting sound.

I'll let everyone know when I have more photo's available.
Posted By: Les Koltvedt

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/18/07 12:27 PM

Thanks Larry...sounds like your working on a second career in photography lol
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/19/07 12:08 AM

Thank You Monster, Monica.

I have put up a few photo's of the "scenery" in Belgium.

If you click on the photo's the will all expand. You can click on them again to further expand them

I have names and such details to add, But I thought it might be nice to start with this.

I have photo's of the people I met as well as many pianos.

More to come.
Posted By: lilylady

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/19/07 01:01 AM

The pics are wonderful! Such detail. Such beautiful architecture. Such history.

I have never seen the double clicking on a website before. Fantastic.

Looking forward to more. Now I want to travel there too. ;-)

Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/19/07 02:21 PM

We hope to go back to Belgium.

There were people in the piano busuness we would like to meet and did not have a chance to.

Also, I'd like to focus on "culture" photo's a bit more.
Posted By: whippen boy

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/19/07 03:26 PM

I see that you got a chance to visit the Museum of Musical Instruments - I hope you found it as fascinating as I did.

I'll be in Brussels for the summer - perhaps I can get a chance to meet everyone too.

Looking forward to more pics.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/20/07 12:37 PM

Hi "Whip"

The entire summer in Brussels?
You are fortunate.

The piano we went to see was at Taffijn Piano in Gooik. They are suppliers to the trade as well as a distributer of Samick pianos. They are a very nice family business. My thanks to Sven(sp?), his wife Kathleen and family for their hospitality and showing us around.

Danny Boddin, a local piano tech, met us at the airport, brought us to the hotel and showed us around as well.

A few piano tuners stopped in while we were there.

There were a couple of tuners here on Piano World I did not get a chance to meet. I extend my apologies. The trip was very short and time very tight. We are hoping to get back to Belgium in the near future with more time to get out and about.

Just out of curiosity, what brings you to Belgium?
Posted By: whippen boy

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/21/07 07:01 PM

What brings me to Belgium? Mussels and beer! wink

Actually, I stay at a friend's house while they vacation elsewhere.

Not only is Brussels interesting, but it is an ideal place from which to explore the rest of Europe. thumb I like that it is a bit more low-key than some of the other European capitals.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/21/07 11:51 PM

I agree about Belgium being very central to Europe.
With the borders down, it is very easy to travel.

Great you can take the summer off.

Me, have to work ...

The beer IS good, not a fan of mussels tho ...
Posted By: whippen boy

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/22/07 05:24 AM

Hmm, I'm not exactly taking the summer off!

I do a couple weeks of my usual tour-guide stuff in France, then will be doing some accompanying/coaching while in Belgium. I also have some research to do at the Conservatoire.

But you are right - I won't be working quite as hard as when I'm home. laugh
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/22/07 11:19 AM

A few more pics can be seen here;


This is the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels.

This is a tiny fraction of the pianos they have here.

The museum is more than pianos as well ...
Posted By: rustyfingers

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/25/07 01:00 AM

Wow! I was looking at these with my 6 year old. He says they're gorgeous! Can't disagree. Thanks so much for sharing these! Wow!
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Trip to Belgium - 05/25/07 12:59 PM

Thank You.

Stay Tuned ...

There is the Piano that we actually went there to see that I have not posted any pictures of ...

Just working with Bill on the things that he needs and then I can get them out for everyone to see.

Also, I am putting together pics of the people we met (have to get all the names right ...)

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