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Good pianos are hard to find

What is a pianist doing in the canteen chatting to other people but not eating lunch?

"All the rooms are taken," the Swiss pianist complained. "Tuesdays are very busy."

You can only sign up from 8 am each day, not earlier, not the day before or the week before. Most rooms with grand pianos are reserved for teaching.

"What if the class is cancelled?" I asked.

"You just have to be there. If you're lucky that someone else hasn't reserved it, then you're fine. You don't know beforehand."

That explains why certain people go around with their ears to the opaque doors listening for a clue of vacancy.

My pianist friend in London complained that he always got kicked out. When asked why he didn't reserve a room, he replied that there was no point and no precedence. There were too many hungry pianists. He would rather live on the other side of town where he could practise the entire day uninterrupted than to live next to the conservatory where he couldn't be guaranteed a piano.

Today, I experienced just that - the frustration of pianists who depend on the conservatory to provide them with good pianos to practise on. The rooms with grand pianos (vleugels in Dutch) are worth the early morning registration and the ear-on-the-door desperation.

I started in a room with two Steinways. I was on top of the world. Half an hour later, I got kicked out. I spent another half an hour looking for an available room.

By chance, I found a Yamaha C5. But the keys were stubborn, probably from lack of use.

Rooms with good grand pianos are already taken. Those that are available have less optimal pianos.

Isn't that like men? The desirable ones are already married or in a relationship. If I do manage to find one, I don't get to play it for too long. There's a long queue waiting outside.

16 March 2004 Tuesday

Related links:
Piano dilemma
Men turning forty
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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