Staying at home, weighing your money

On the bike trail this morning I crossed paths with Stravoula (“Voula“) Charos and her 27 year old daughter Katerina (software specialist).  Voula and her husband Peter are I believe first cousins of well-known brothers George (Angela) Charos and Terry (Danae) Charos. Meeting Katerina inspired me to absorb the talent and success of the Charos family. I briefly shared with Katerina my historic knowledge of the contribution of her family to the Town of Almonte. She was visibly moved by the comment. The bottom line with the Charos family is that they work hard and keep to the grindstone. What began primarily as retail expression soon turned to professionalism for the younger members of the clan.  Dr. Jim Kontogiannis, DDS for example has made a terrific reputation for himself. I hasten to add however that the contributions of the Charos family to the Town are but exemplary of similar endowments of many others whom we’ve been privileged to include among our long-time notable residents.

The meeting with Voula and Katerina jokingly referenced the current boredom which predominates. This chance meeting of old acquaintances nonetheless reverberated with the gusto of infrequent society.  I confess I was initially persuaded in particular by the youthful animation of Katerina. It pleased me no end to discover that she was both enthusiastic and clever. The promise of youth for the future is undeniable.

Regarding a quite unrelated topic, I ventured this afternoon across the doorstep of Kenny Lauzon at his family’s music store on Wellington Street (Westboro) in Ottawa. It was the first time I have been there for many years.  The last time I went – say ten years ago – I saw a Steinway salon grand piano similar to my own for sale for $106,500.  For comparison my own piano – purchased over 30 years previously – cost $35,000. Indeed my piano (a brown mahogany) was by standard of colour superior to the new Steinway which was black. I mention these vulgar details as introductory to the observation that when I visited Lauzon’s today there was not one Steinway piano to be seen on the floor.  Instead the new models are Seiler. Having played one there I can report I haven’t a clue about their retail price.  Nor will I enquire (other than perhaps for merely “technical” purposes).

Seiler Pianos USA | World Class Pianos | Traditional German Craftsmanship. More about Seiler. Seiler was founded in 1849 when Eduard Seiler started handcrafting pianos in Liegnitz, Germany. By 1923, the company had become the largest piano manufacturer in Eastern Europe, producing roughly 3,000 pianos each year.

Here is a bit of information I found on the internet reputedly showing costs for the 10 most popular pianos:

Brand Upright Baby Grand Concert Grand
Steinway $38,850 $69,700 $171,000
Yamaha $22,000 $35,000 179,000
Fazioli N/A $135,000 $287,000
Kawaii $8,500 $21,500 $218,000
Bosendorfer $77,000 $122,000 $230,000
Young Chang $6890 $12,990 $19,990
Brodmann $12,000 $26,990 $159,000
Baldwin $10,000 $21,395 $63,995
Mason & Hamlin $28,210 $62,750 $139,000
Bluthner $36,000 $91,000

By further comparison here is an instrument from Seiler for $26,450:

All this preamble distorts the genuine nature of my objective at the store. I have no intention of buying another piano – neither upright nor grand – since we haven’t the space for one in our apartment. What instead I pursued today was an enquiry regarding the capacity of electronic pianos to connect to an iPhone for recording purposes. My present electronic piano is Korg SP-280. Let me put it this way, the investigation is a work in progress.