The second concert in my recent Vermont trip turned out to be another memorable experience. I was scheduled to have a 6pm warm-up before the 7pm recital. After eating dinner at a local restaurant, I got in my car and entered the venue address into my trusty GPS device. About a half-hour later, I heard those beautiful, familiar words "Arriving at Destination...on left!". I turned my head, looking out into the cold and saw a small blue house sitting on the bank of a snow-covered river. Obviously, my trusty GPS device was not being so...trusty. I continued down the road a bit, hoping it was just ahead. Nothing. I re-entered the address, this time searching for the venue and started off again. Right back at the blue house. I pulled off the road, pulled the even TRUSTIER folder which contains all of my papers pertaining to the tour out of my bag and called the presenter. Turns out I had driven BY the place several times and had not even known it. I was given directions over the phone, and arrived exactly ten minutes before I was to go on stage. I grabbed my garment bag and scrambled inside. I was met at the door and taken in to the piano where I played a few notes and went to change. By some strange miracle, the concert only started about five minutes late, but it's what happened next that was so wonderful. I suddenly realized (about halfway through the first piece) that I was playing on an old Duo-Art grand piano. For those who don't know, this is the type of instrument countless pianists used to make now famous (or infamous, depending on your opinion) piano roll recordings. Names like Friedman, Busoni, Paderewski, Horowitz...the list goes on. I settled in and enjoyed a type of piano I had never even SEEN before, let alone performed on.
Posted below is a picture of the piano I took after the recital.
And here's a recording of a Duo-Art roll made by Ferruccio Busoni of a Liszt Etude: