The New Grand ...old-world elegance with new world performance © 2011 Fandrich Piano Company, Inc. Concept Many years ago we rebuilt a Chickering pianoforte built in the 1860s. This was a beautiful, flat-strung grand having a slender, elegant shape that was just one evolutionary step from the earlier, mostly wood-framed fortepianos of the early 1800s. I have encountered several of these wonderful pianofortes over the years and both their sound and their aesthetic have caught my attention. Throughout my career as a piano designer I have wondered what a modern version of these pianofortes  might be like. The instrument we are building now--the new Fandrich pianoforte--is my interpretation of a direction piano development might have taken had we not allowed ourselves to be caught up with the notion that bigger and more massive is always a good thing. And that acoustical power is more important than musical subtlety. Aesthetics and size The new Fandrich pianoforte is designed to be a modern interpretation of those wonderful transitional instruments that appeared roughly between 1840 and 1870. It is not a reproduction of these instruments but a thoroughly modern instrument; indeed, it is one of the most technologically advanced pianos available today. It just happens to share the slender aesthetic and musically dynamic elegance of an earlier age. The new Fandrich 2.5 m (8’ 2-1/2”) pianoforte  takes up about the same floorspace as a conventional 225 cm (7’ 4”) grand. And it is about one-third lighter. Performance and voice These instruments have relatively low-tensioned scaling. Consequently they use exceptionally light, yet extraordinarily stiff, soundboards and bridges. (More will be written about this in the near future.) Because of this combination of scale and soundboard they use proportionately lighter and softer hammers. The action uses the new Wessel, Nickel & Gross composite action components. Because the hammers are relatively light, action inertia is relatively low and the action ratio is some higher than is common in the modern piano. This gives a keytouch that is very quick and very responsive to the artist’s touch. These are concert-level instruments designed for the real-world home. Watch this space for periodic progress reports.