A Bradbury baby grand piano, which currently has a temporary home at UnCorked Glens Falls, is a link to the golden age of American piano manufacturing. This golden age started out during the Victorian age and lasted for more than 50 years. Through the efforts of Stephen Gallucci and Esmond Lyons, it was being restored and managed to find its way to the display at UnCorked Glens Falls to benefit Art in the Public Eye.
“This piano was thrown in a back room ready to be junked. It was on its side, and the lid was cracked,” stated Stephen, who admired the now restored baby grand, a Bradbury built way back in the 1930s in New York. During the peak period of the industry, there were millions of pianos being produced by over thousands of small firms. In fact, America alone supplied above half of the world’s pianos. Domestic sales during that period went as high as 364,000 instruments per year. Sadly, most of the instruments have either already been destroyed or are destined for landfills in this modern age. However, Stephen has a vision of his own.
By working alongside Glens Falls artist Esmond Lyons, he has greater hopes of bringing a greater appreciation towards the musical artifacts, a piano at a time. “Esmond and I got into restoring lesser-known American piano brands because we both were appalled by people junking them. For example, if they were not Steinways or Mason & Hamlins, they would just get thrown out. To me, all of the thousands of American piano companies that existed are just as important, and they all have something unique to offer,” he explained.
As for the refurbished Bradbury, it is set to find a permanent residence in the fall. The piano is being raffled as a benefit for Art in the Public Eye, where the winner will eventually be announced in November during the nonprofit’s annual autumn party. “The piano is beautiful and uniquely restored. We will be planning a few events during the year to showcase the piano by having musicians play it,” said Liz Wilcox, president of the arts organization.
Way back in time, before iPods and even vinyl records came about, pianos were pretty much the center of entertainment in the majority of homes. “This piano represents the last epoch of self-sufficiency in America. We just want to find a really great home for it. I want it to go to someone who has an aesthetic awareness. We think music and art are good buddies,” added Esmond. For more information, do check it out here.