Well, after the unexpected drama of getting the piano back into my studio without interrupting my teaching schedule, (the movers were driving off at 3:28, 2 minutes before my next appointment) I was finally able to enjoy the piano for a couple of hours last night. And I certainly did enjoy the time I spent getting reacquainted with it. Thanks for the excellent work. I will certainly be recommending Faust Harrison Pianos to others. If I am ever in a position to replace my second piano with a better quality instrument, I will be back!
And by the way, the movers are really excellent. Getting any piano into my studio (an old carriage house above our garage) is not easy, let alone a piano of that size. We've got a stone retaining wall several feet from the door which is smaller than standard doors and a narrow stairway right inside the door. A "B" just makes it... a "C" would never get up there without taking the wall down and excavating behind it. As it is the piano had to be taken to the upper level, above the door, the back end dropped down a couple feet over the wall and then immediately into the doorway and up the stairs. The guys handled it masterfully though with considerable effort. Though I did not appreciate the stress of wondering if they would arrive in time to get the job done without interrupting my teaching, I was very confident in their ability to get the job done, once they arrived.
I just wanted to say thank you for repairing my piano part today! They did a beautiful job, I wouldn't have expected any thing less. I am happy that all is perfect with my piano now. Glen did a great job once again tuning my piano last week and making sure all was secure where it needed to be. Michelle was also a pleasure to meet and very helpful and courteous! You really have such a wonderful and talented team there. I am so happy to have made my purchase with you (a little over a year ago) and thrilled to pass the word around about your store. Thank you for your professionalism!
Sincerely, Piper A.
I am stunned! The Steinway C was made by the gods!
I just had some of the best hours of my life as I have been falling into the groove with this extraordinary piano - had no idea what this creature was capable of delivering.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Faust Harrison Pianos, for bringing this instrument into the world. I am most grateful.
Appreciation to everyone on your staff who contributed to creating this masterful instrument.
My sincerest thanks for all your help. The Steinway C is truly wonderful and we are absolutely thrilled about getting it!
We spent two years visiting the leading piano stores throughout the United States and Europe and found that all the best pianos were on your floor. In addition, the professionalism, expertise, and personal attention given by your staff is incredible. There is only one conclusion we can make at the end of our search for the perfect instrument: Faust Harrison Pianos is in a class of its own.
We will tell every pianist to go straight to your store and not waste time traveling elsewhere. :)
Thanks Glen! You are amazing. The pianos performed spectacularly.
David Skidmore, President
BECHSTEIN AMERICA LLC
Thank you so much to all at Faust Harrison who helped me sell my Steinway grand piano. What a pleasure to deal with true professionals.
I just wanted to let you know that I am very happy with Hugo's tuning. The piano sounds great.
I serviced a Hamburg A today. WOW. REALLY BEAUTIFUL! Action feels great, sounds just right. Love those Abel hammers. They're perfect for a Hamburg. Thanks for the super job. That's why you guys are the BEST.
Hi Matt –
I worked out with the delivery company and received the piano yesterday.
The whole family is excited to have a new piano that’s sonically superb and visually stunning at the same time. I would like to thank you and your tuner Mr. Kimura for your top notch service, excellent demos, and your help.
As you know, not knowing too much about pianos at all, I walked in to your store expecting a standard black 46” Yamaha. I really appreciate your time and effort to teach me the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the lines of pianos you offer. Your help and guidance had helped me greatly in making an informed decision.
I will definitely seek out to you again when the time comes for an upgrade a few year down the road.
Many thanks for all your help. Your piano tuner did a grand job and the concert went very well.
I wanted to tell you how terrific your movers are (although you probably know that already). Quick, cheerful, courteous, and nothing short of magical in how they got that piano out the door and down the stairs. A wonderful experience overall; many thanks for making it easy.
Dear Sara and Jessica,
It was so wonderful for my students to experience your place and play the Yamaha. I told them the story about this instrument that played the main role in my decision making about the piano for Tchaikovsky Concerto performance. They LOVED the piano, and they were fascinated by the tour that Jordan provided. They asked many questions and made both Chris and Jordan work hard! Up till now they cannot stop talking about this event and all you could offer for them. I was surprised myself how attentively they were listening. Also, that was fascinating, how the most " wild " ones were standing in a first row, asking many reasonable questions and they didn't want to leave, even though it was quite late-9:15pm!
I thank you very much for such a professional way of handling the studio recital, I could not have dreamt of a better setting for my kids and adults. I am afraid that they will all vote for the next recital to be at your place again...:)
Have a wonderful summer, restful and productive.
I want to thank you for your really excellent work on my piano last month - you are exceptionally skilled and I really appreciate that. Later this summer (or during Fall according to how your schedule works out) I would like to follow up on your suggestion that the hammers be shaved to improve the quality of the tone.
I would like your advise on the following; I notice that although the humidity in my apartment if frequently up to 60% the humidifier of Piano Saver continues to disperse water at the same rate (requiring a refill every two weeks) just as it did during the winter when humidity was very low. It seems to me that the Piano Saver is one one setting all the time no matter what. Is that a malfunction?
The amount of humidity the piano receives from both the natural atmosphere plus the humidifier is excessive at this point. Should I just turn the Piano Saver off? Please let me know what you thoughts are.
Your work as a piano technician is top-notch and I easily recommend it to other pianists.
With best regards,
Everything went well today -- thanks again. Chris was a terrific salesman and Faust Piano is lucky to have him. Low key and no high pressure tactics, and very knowledgeable. It is a pleasure doing business with a family-owned business.
Dear Sara and Irving,
The piano arrived last Saturday and we've been so happy ever since. Music is now a daily part of all our lives again and we have you both to thank. The piano is gorgeous and I'm in love with the look and the sound. We will be forever grateful for all your wisdom, help in our (what seemed endless) search and your time. The room could accommodate another foot in length so someday, whenever we are financially ready for it, we will come calling for that perfect Victorian B. In the meantime, we will thoroughly enjoy our sublime instrument.
Cristina & John
I have had a week to play my new Mason-Hamlin piano and David Hughes was here this morning to give it it's first tuning.
First, I would like to say that Sarah was correct; it is "drop dead gorgeous" (the sound, not the finish). Not being a New Yorker I did not know what that meant. I think I do now. This piano has exceeded all expectations.
The sound in the show room did not do it justice.
As far a voicing it is concerned, I see no reason to do so now. It seems perfect and I do not want to destroy Paul's careful work. David recommended waiting many months or even a whole year before deciding.
All and all I am very happy and want to thank Faust-Harrison pianos.
Happy New Year. I will stop in the next time I get to NYC.
Thanking you in advance, I am
It was very nice to meet you at the one of the most highly significant and elegant piano shops in the world.
You guided us gently and rightly to find an ideal piano! We can not wait to have that.
Now that our Mason Hamlin "Queen Anne" has had a few weeks to settle into her new home, I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for your excellent work and service. The enthusiasm, pride, attention to details, as well as your accessibility and very personal business approach is refreshing and so unusual. As for the final product, our "Queen" has been beautifully restored and her warm sound and expression compliment her appearance. It is clear that your level of craftsmanship and selection of material are superior. You have delivered over and above what was promised and expected. Thank you so much and don't change a thing! Please pass this along also to your family, Jessica and Josh, who helped make this a success.
All the best,
Dear Sara and Jessica:
Attached is a photo of our Steinway M in its new home. The piano is "happy" and we are thrilled. The movers were wonderful.
We have loved working with Faust Harrison and have greatly appreciated your experience and guidance as we reached our decision.
A couple of quick questions. First, how long do you recommend we wait before making an appointment with one of your recommended tuners? Second, we will be contacting our home insurance agent to take out a rider for the piano. What advice do you have on the appropriate amount? Third, what recommendations do you have on a good source for a music cabinet?
We look forward to receiving information about your year-long "grand opening" of the White Plains showroom and to seeing you at many of the performances.
Greg and Meg
Good afternoon, Sara and Matt.
I would like to let you know that our piano was delivered today on time and without any problems. I also received the bench that was mailed to us. The sound of the piano is warm and great. It also looks very nice. I already played it, and what a pleasure it was. I am so thrilled.
Thank you, very, very much again for your advice, help and understanding. Our Administrator also sends his thanks.
Good afternoon, Matt.
Thank you, very much for your e-mail. You probably felt that I was thinking about you, because I was planning to send you e-mail since yesterday. I would like to let you know that I am using our new piano during music programs and residents really enjoy the sound and never fail to mention how nice it looks and sounds. Our entertainers were also thrilled to use it during the performance. And I would like again to express our deepest gratitude for your and Sara help and support. I ordered the cover and am waiting for it to arrive. Now I would like to schedule a piano tuning.
Give my warmest regards to Sara.
It has been a few weeks since you delivered the rebuilt vintage 1900 Victorian Ebony Steinway B to us and I felt I just had to email you about it.
As you know Ultra Sound Studios already owns many of the finest pianos from one of the oldest and most famous German builders including a 7'7" Semi Concert Grand and a 6' 11" Grand. In my business I must be very critical of both the tone of the piano and the build quality to be sure the pianos perform to very high levels that are required in a studio. That is why in the past I have always purchased German pianos from the finest builders and they have always served me well.
But I just have to tell you the Faust Harrison Rebuilt Steinway B is truly a work of art. This magnificent piano is on another level completely!! The full warm tone and harmonic complexity is staggeringly beautiful and yet there is detail and clear note articulation within the fullness. The responsiveness and dynamic range are truly wonderful with exquisite touch sensitivity and feel in the action. One of the most amazing things is the superb voicing of the piano where every note feels perfectly balance and weighted just right so that the individual notes blend into a seamless whole which is a very rare thing indeed. The final icing on the cake is the rich resonance and sustain that I have only heard when wood has aged and seasoned over many many years. This is what makes finding a properly rebuilt vintage piano so worth the effort over buying a new piano. With this Vintage Steinway you have gone far past proper and your craftsmen have done an impeccable job on everything.
We talked about sound and playability being my main goal but the beauty of the detail work and the quality of the Ebony finish is also exquisite. You have taken an old treasure and made it even more desirable through your careful, meticulous rebuilding and refinishing.
Lastly your staff including Sam and Eva did a great job of taking care of me and all the details including the delivery.
You should be very proud of what you have done at Faust Harrison and how perfectly you rebuild Vintage Steinways. You are truly fine builders and gifted artists in your own right, and you are creating what may very well be the finest sounding and playing instruments. You have proven to me that your Faust Harrison Rebuilt Steinways really are better and I want to thank you for the wonderful piano.
All the best,
Ultra Sound Studios - NYC
Just wanted to send a note for you and your mom (I have lost her email address).
Craig had his recital last Sunday and let me just say that he could not have done it without that piano. Your mother's expertise and great advice led us to buy a piano, which I was not even sure I could or should afford. His playing has markedly improved over the last few weeks and he has built up more strength in his fingers. In addition, his attention to dynamics has grown tremendously.
I enclose a link to his recital herein because I just wanted you to know that you may think you are merely selling pianos, but you have helped make a 10 year old boy very VERY proud of himself. In his words ("I feel very accomplished") ... what you are doing is changing lives one piano at a time.
see below for a picture of the O in its new home. It looks fantastic! I never imagined that you would be able to spruce up the case to that extent. The window to the left of the shot is a northern exposure, so there won’t be direct sunlight on the piano from this point forward. It sounds great in the room --- which would have been the formal dining room of the house as designed in 1820. Please accept my thanks for the entire transaction going back to the arrival of our dusty and bedraggled pianos over a year ago.
Thanks for the rapid response! Yes I want to move ahead with the project. I like the work you do which far exceeds any of the piano rebuilders I have visited and tested. I also feel confident and at ease dealing with you; you are knowledgeable and honest. I will mail the deposit and contract tomorrow.
Looking forward to the restoration,
Sara & Josh,
really can't thank you enough for solving the voicing problem on my piano. It has the sweetest warmest, and most beautiful tone I've experienced. It was that way after you rebuilt it last May. Again with the regulation and soft touch I can totally control the tone. It is truly one of the best sounding instruments I've ever heard and one of the most rewarding to play. Thanks again for restoring it to all its glory.
Just wanted to pass on my thanks to you and all at Faust Harrison for
this instrument. We finished the record with Matt Herskowitz (doing
final mix adjustments), and despite needing to keep a tuner here for
the sessions, it came out great, and he is very happy. As a side
benefit, the piano was pretty well settled in by the time he was done
with 3 12 hours days on it. It has been very stable since, with our
only challenges relating to the humidification system (as you
predicted). I think we have pretty much overcome that, and it is easy
to fix, because we always know what it is.
Everyone who has come in to test the piano has booked time. Old
clients who have returned have really liked the upgrade.
Thanks again, and I hope we can work together again at some point.
February 09, 2010
We can’t begin to thank you for the absolutely wonderful time we had with you on Monday afternoon. To reconnect after all these years and to have the privilege of seeing your incredible business at such leisure was just a very special treat for us! THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking the time to spend with us. We realize that you are one very busy lady trying to juggle a multitude of balls in the air under a great deal of pressure; so we are even more grateful that you would take the time as you did to show us around.
As you know, we are passionate about pianos and are forever grateful for what you have taught us about these “soulful” instruments. And to have that knowledge updated as you did on Monday was extremely enlightening. It is something that I shall continue to use in my teaching as well as to share with colleagues and friends. And of course when there is the opportunity to guide someone buying a piano.....my first recommendation will be to your business. We were simply blown away with the beauty of what we saw......the gorgeous cases, the perfect actions, and lastly but most importantly, the exquisite sound. You are indeed the custodian of a rarefied Art, and it is so heartening to experience that first hand. I actually think your story should be the subject of a documentary....have you ever considered that? It is important to tell these kinds of stories and to draw people into this aesthetic world which reflects the most joyous and hopeful part of the human being—the SOUL!
This idea of a documentary which just occurred spontaneously as I am writing, may not be so farfetched and challenging as it sounds. (When my parents died two years ago, I made a 43 minute documentary about them for the memorial service my brother and I planned; my Dad was a unique American icon whose story needed to be told.) Perhaps when you and I have some more time, we should talk about this. Your story is obviously unique and continues to play an important role in the Piano World.
At any rate, good luck with all of your endeavors, especially caring for your Dad. We know only too well the challenges that presents, but he is lucky to have you and Irv as his caretakers.
Again, many thanks for your friendship, and we shall look forward to staying in touch. It was also such a pleasure to meet Josh and Jessie. It must feel good to have such terrific kids!
As always, warmest thoughts from both Ken and Stephen
A “Master Class” at Faust Harrison's Manhattan showrooms
Faust Harrison is a company dedicated to helping people find the best pianos available. They specialize in Mason & Hamlin and Steinway but offer other Asian and European piano makers as well. They have done quite well and are expanding into Westchester and Long Island locations. As I stepped into their Manhattan store, I heard what one should expect to hear in any high end piano store; the sounds of great piano music played by aspiring pianists on excellent pianos, sort of what some of us might imagine pianist heaven to be like.
She was quite a talented young lady.
Yes, and Sara Faust was showing her around asking her to play something on various pianos, beginning with a couple Mason & Hamlin pianos. She was playing a Chopin ballade and the finale to Beethoven's 7th sonata (Op. 10 #3), a piece formerly played by a member of the Piano World Piano Forum who had recently passed away rather suddenly. I recalled his performance as I was hearing hers. What moving ironies there are in life!
Sara Faust was doing far more than showing a customer pianos. In this case she was concerned to get the attention of this young lady (who was accompanied by her mother all the way from central Pennsylvania) to the challenges and rigours of concert pianism. There are all sorts of people who for whatever reason need a piano, but of these there are relatively few committed pianists with any real talent. This young lady was clearly one of these. Sara asked her questions like “do you really want to be a pianist?” or “if you really want to become a pianist?” Because the truth of it is that there are far fewer who can, and ultimately will become concert pianists, and that once one decides one is committed there will be ups and downs, moments when one would willingly give it all up, but where there are certainly plenty who would be there to pick up the mantle should you wish to drop it (unsaid: because for many of them it's their only way out of a life of grinding poverty, misery or obscurity), and for these aspiring pianists something else is required in terms of a piano. Sara Faust was acquainting this aspiring young lady with the facts of life concerning concert pianism, and should there be a piano upgrade for this young lady, just what that piano must be.
A Steinway piano?
Yes, a Steinway piano with the typically warmer sound than the crisp and clear Mason & Hamlin, that is more difficult to bring out because the action is weighted to be slightly heavier than many others. As the young lady played these Steinway pianos, Sara would occasionally stop her, have her repeat the phrase with a little more emphasis and to assess just what the pianist needs to know to learn how to control, contour and develop all those extra rich nuances that Steinway pianos are capable of. Sara pointed out something I never hear from anyone but which happens to be true; the bass end of a piano will always project, it is the upper registers that require extra attention. (Sara mentioned, attributed to Vladimir Horowitz, that we all play with our little fingers. All pianists should immediately recognize the importance of their right hand little finger, but also of their left hand little finger for those big bass leaps.) Sara had the young lady play many Steinway pianos and as I watched and listened, I was hearing all the incredibly subtle differences between these instruments, like distinguishing between fine wines, fine chocolates or fine teas. We were, as it were, getting a “master class” lesson, a very detailed, profound and for me timely piano lesson. There were but five of us there, Sara Faust, the young lady and her mother, myself and Mr. Sam Varon who would be managing Faust Harrison's new Long Island showrooms. Through Sara's demonstration, we were encouraged to think differently about pianos, to consider the merits of a “practice” piano as well as of “performance” piano. The former are what one learns music on, all the way from identifying the notes and phrases to play, as well as getting through the “sculpting phase” where after perhaps 150 times through the same piece, one is able to play it as an inspired and incandescent masterpiece, to bring all it contains to an audience of other people, which is really the final goal of the art form itself. A good practice piano should make you more confident to play on any performance piano you come across as many will be in worse repair and tuning than yours at home, nevertheless a performance must go on. Maybe for the first time I realistically considered the merits of the smaller Steinway models as practice pianos; the O's, M's, L's and even S's, that are often neglected by those seeking their A's or killer B's.
So Sara Faust was trying to get the young lady to understand the merits of a piano that was perhaps a bit harder to play but which promised greater musical rewards?
From a concert pianist standpoint, yes. It was really quite wonderful actually, like getting an insightful look from an experienced insider.
You told me before that Sara Faust was herself a considerable talent.
Once she played a few passages in Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse to demonstrate a piano. Her confidence in that performance blew me away. She knows what she's talking about. Let's just say that I left Faust Harrison having certainly been given a terrific piano lesson, one I'll probably never forget and one likely to colour my perceptions of kinds of pianos for the foreseeable future.
David Burton's Blog
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011
Seventh Interview – A Day in New York's Piano Row
Piano World Internet Posting
Q: As someone in the market for a completely restored A or B model Steinway, I'd be interested to know about people's experiences with restorers in general across the country. I have seen the work of only two firms to date, Faust Harrison in New York and Dumont in San Jose, both of whose work I found to be excellent. I would be particularly interested to hear from anyone who has actually purchased the type of instrument I'm considering.
- Greg K.
A: Dear Greg K., I spent the last 8 or 9 months working with Irving and Sarah Faust on the 1907 Steinway Model A-2 that is now in my home. After shopping at Steinway & Sons, NY, AC Pianocraft, Maximillian's, etc., I fell in love with both the sound and finish of the Faust instruments. I spent a couple of hours with Michael Harrison in the NY showroom. He is a charming gentleman and a pleasure to deal with. Later, my dealings were with Sarah, Irving and their son, Josh Faust, who, for all intents and purposes, is the foreman of the shop in Dobbs Ferry. We spent a lot of time with Sarah and Irving, touring the factory, listening to Sarah play the pianos (she is a wonderful player..), seeing various instruments in different phases of restoration.
I am a stickler for detail (some say "anal retentive"), so I guess I come across as a bit of a pain in the ass. (I try to be nice about it, though..;-)
The entire Faust family dealt with me regularly, without any complaints. I made multiple trips to the factory to check on the progress of my instrument, and was welcomed warmly every time. They included me in decisions about voicing, key weight/touch, stain colors, finish, nickel or brass fittings, etc. It was a real team effort. They included me every step of the way, because they knew that's how I wanted it.
I received my instrument about 10 weeks ago. It is spectacular. Serial #124889, it was originally a Sketch Piano, according to Michael Mohr at Steinway. Steinway shipped it to Lyon & Healy in Chicago back in 1907, and then I lost track of it. If anyone reading this knows who may have owned it along the way, I'd love to hear about it.
Today, the African Mahogany, Victorian (Lotus leg, scrolled music desk) Model A-2 is without a doubt, my pride and joy. Original ivory keys, Renner action, voiced by Tolly. It has a hand-rubbed satin lacquer finish. It is not only an incredible sounding instrument, bit it is drop-dead-gorgeous, to boot.