Our Music Director, Bernard Crane, found this lovely instrument on Hilton Head Island, SC. Our old piano was in desparate need of replacement and Bernard had been keeping his eyes open, in hope perhaps of finding a piano like the uniquely remarkable one he remembered playing years ago in San Francisco, a “Pramberger”.
In his research he found out that the “Pramberger” piano was designed by Joseph Pramberger, a past V.P. of Manufacturing at Steinway. J.P must have had piano-making in his blood, being a descendant from generations of piano builders: the Pramberger family history of piano craftsmanship dates back to the 1700’s in Vienna, Austria. Joseph’s grandfather and uncle first immigrated to this country and began work with the Steinway Company in the late 1800’s. Joseph’s father next immigrated to this country to join Steinway. Joe started working at the Steinway Company as a teenager and even after receiving a Master’s degree in Engineering from NYU returned to Steinway and piano-making. Joseph eventually became one of Steinway’s Vice Presidents. But with strong opinions of his own, confronting a solid sentiment against change, he decided to leave the company and ultimately began overseeing the making of pianos of his own design. From the beginning of his production under the name “Pramberger” until his death in 2004 there is a very narrow window of time..about 4 years. Things changed substantially after his passing so such a piano would need to fit into that unique time-window of manufacture.
The piano Bernard found in South Carolina was just such an instrument. The sound and touch prove it. The piano is made from top materials with meticulous attention to detail, giving the instrument a wonderful resonance and delicate responsiveness. Dressed in mahoghany with a high luster finish, it is as delightful to behold as it is to hear. The handiwork of God in delivering this piano to us is a story in itself. There is a booklet detailing the entire experience which is available on loan through the church office.