Piano chair, Piano bench, benches, orchestra chairs
REVIEW OF THE CONCERT DESIGN PIANO CHAIR
"I am not a pianist but my wife is! She is a rather accomplished pianist who accompanies a variety of vocalists and instrumentalists just for the joy of making music together. Lately I noticed the practice sessions growing shorter and shorter even as the intervals between them grew longer and longer. Upon inquiry I learned that lower back and upper torso discomfort along with the early stages of fibromyalgia were exacting their toll.
I thought surely someone must make a piano chair that could help assuage some of this discomfort. At least, that was my hope.
"An internet search initially yielded a number of adjustable wooden chairs that looked as if they belonged in a funeral home. Unrelenting persistence and patience eventually uncovered the Concert Design website. My initial reaction was that someone was trying to pawn off a secretarial office chair as a piano stool and charging dearly for the effort.
"However, Sal’s observation that piano players usually sit on the edge of their bench struck me as one of those things that everyone knows but no one thinks about – that he thought about it and sought to address the problem gave me pause. Also, I have noticed that when relaxing on the bench most pianists drop their shoulders and round the back – a slouch, so to speak. The prospect of a multi-adjustable backrest seemed an intriguing idea to overcome this tendency. The more I read about the concept of this chair the more convinced I became that this might be a worthwhile gamble.
"When I called, Sal talked to me at length about his background and the evolution of his design. He also meticulously questioned me as to the nature of our need to gather the information he would need to make an intelligent recommendation. The order was placed and the chair arrived as Lois promised. Upon opening the box, the first thing we found was a folded black plastic bag – a bag for all of the packing material we would be removing from the box. At this point I realized I was dealing with people who were thinking outside the box!
"Many of the things we buy are designed by people who never use them. It is always frustrating to find a design flaw in an item that would have been obvious had the designer tried to use his own product. This chair was obviously designed for a pianist by someone who had personally experienced the needs of a pianist – someone who fully understood them. This is no rejiggered office chair from Office Max or Staples.
"The components of this chair are high quality parts and the assembled unit is sturdy beyond belief. This is a carefully thought out solution to a functional problem.
But, does it work? In our case, the chair replaced an expensive adjustable Artist’s Bench.
"The adjustments are relatively simple. There is no substitute for simple trial and error in finding the winning combination for each individual. Initially the back was positioned in the lumbar region. Later on it moved further up to support the torso. The beauty of the design is that it can be adjusted vertically and horizontally to address the pain of the day. My untrained ear tells me that the playing is stronger than I have heard in awhile and the practice sessions are more frequent and longer.
"A hope realized surely qualifies as a success.
Is this chair expensive? You bet! But, occasionally we luck out and actually get what we paid for. This purchase would fall in that category! A solidly built, well designed solution to a common problem that fulfills its function – – – thank you Lois, thank you Sal!"
Hal Wharton, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, USA (2011)