The first International Stretto Piano Festival ran from 15 to 23 May 2021. All pianists performed on keys that are narrower than today’s conventional keyboard size with its 6.5 inch octave. The festival was hosted online by Musae. You can still purchase tickets to watch our many fine pianists from America, Europe and Australia. Visit the festival website: https://info.musae.me/stretto.
In November, Prof Carol Leone (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) was guest artist at a piano residency held at the University of Memphis featuring a DS6.0 keyboard currently on loan from the DS Standard Foundation.
Dutch pianist, Karolinka de Bree, owner of a 5.5 inch octave keyboard installed in her grand piano, gave a presentation at the International EPTA conference in Vienna on 25 October 2019.
Kathryn Mientka Farruggia performed over 40 minutes of solo Beethoven works, including most of the Emperor Concerto, at a concert held in conjunction with the Sedona Film Festival in Arizona. Film clips from five different Beethoven movies were shown during the performance. Her Yamaha C7 with DS5.5 keyboard was moved to the concert hall for her performance. https://www.vvsinfonietta.org/
At the NCKP conference held in Chicago on 24-27 July 2019, Professors Carol Leone and Jessica Johnson ran an interactive wellness cafe featuring DS® keyboards provided by the DS Standard Foundation: dsstandardfoundation.org. A DS5.5® keyboard installed in a Hailun HU1P upright piano and a DS6.0® keyboard installed in a Yamaha C7 grand piano were available for delegates to try.
Renowned Australian pianist, Bernadette Harvey, ran a workshop on 29 June 2019 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Details below…
Dr Carol Leone, Professor of Piano at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, gave two recitals on a DS5.5® keyboard in Grand Junction, Colorado on May 17 and 18.
Dr Jessica Johnson, professor of piano at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, organised a pedagogical workshop at the East Carolina University on 1 November, 2018. Using videos of performances on a Steinbuhler DS5.5® keyboard , she demonstrated effective strategies for teaching students with small hands.
A piano teachers’ festival was held on October 13-14 2018 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
One of the presentations were given by Erica Booker, Ju-Yang Chi and Bronwen Ackermann about alternatively sized keyboards and the research underway at the Sydney University Medical School A student performed on a piano with 6 inch octave keyboard. He was connected to motion sensors to compare muscular activity on both this keyboard and the conventional 6.5 inch octave keyboard. Results were displayed on a large screen in real time.
Ju-Yang Chi presented at the PAMA conference in Orange, CA (30 June-3 July, 2018) on his doctoral research program: ‘Hand span and muscle activity levels on pianos with different sized keyboards’. Ju-Yang’s supervisor is Dr Bronwen Ackermann (University of Sydney, editor of MPPA journal). The pianist trials are making use of the pianos in Erica Booker’s Sydney studio.
Boston pianist, Anna Arazi, ran a whole-day event on 15 January 2018 for local teachers and students at the Church of Our Savior in Brookline. This event featured a Cunningham grand piano with DSS5.5® keyboard. The program included a presentation and discussion, try-out sessions and a short recital by Anna.
Concert pianist Kathryn Mientka, who performs on a DS5.5® in a Yamaha grand piano, gave four recitals this early in 2018 in Sedona, Arizona, and in Paonia, Grand Junction and Montrose, Colorado.
She performed works by Liszt and Rachmaninoff – normally reserved for big-handed pianists.
Professor Carol Leone (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas) gave a presentation and performance at the Juilliard School in New York in November 2017. There was much interest from both teachers and students.
The keyboard she used was DS6.0® installed in a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano.
A piano recital followed by a lively panel discussion was held at NCKP (National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy) on 26 July 2017. Four top pianists/professors performed on a DS6.0® keyboard in a Yamaha CFIIIS: Barbara Lister-Sink, Jessica Johnson, Jovanni-Rey de Pedro and Artina McCain.
<——See the video of these performances.
Canadian pianist, Monique Fournier presented a recital and seminar at the Lipnicki piano store in Calgary on 3 November 2017. She performed on her own brand new DS5.5® keyboard in her grand piano.
For media stories about this event, go to Media stories
Concert pianist, Anastasia Markina recently performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the University of North Texas Orchestra using the university’s DS6.0® keyboard.
Here are some excerpts from her performance on the PASK playlist:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4TBEbBrTJc
Early in 2017, SMU student Tiffany Lu won the university’s undergraduate concert competition, performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor on a DS6.0® keyboard. Here is her performance of the third movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=73&v=EcBcQmhK7kQ
Professor Carol Leone, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, gave a presentation and performance on a DS6.0® keyboard in a Yamaha CFX grand at the Texas State International Piano Festival. This festival was held at the University in San Marco, June 3-11, 2017. Many professors and students loved playing this keyboard and were excited about the future and how these keyboards could benefit so many, many pianists! (http://tsipf.com/)
Sydney teacher Erica Booker presented: The benefits of ergonomically scaled piano keyboards for smaller handed pianists: Levelling the playing field at the EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association) conference in September 2016, held in Reykjavik, Iceland. http://asp.artegis.com/EPTA2016.
A new Kawai GM12 150 cm grand piano, owned by Icelandic pianist Berglind Jonsdottir, with octave size a little over 6 inches (approx 15/16 of the conventional size) was available for delegates to try. Here is a video of Berglind trying it out for the first time.
Dr Carol Leone (SMU, Dallas) and Rhonda Boyle were among the presenters on the theme of ‘Wellness’ at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) in Chicago: 29 July-1 August 2015. For details, refer to: http://www.keyboardpedagogy.org/workshops/saturdayworkshops.
At the 12th Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, held in Melbourne in July 2015, Rhonda Boyle presented the paper: Pianist Hand Spans: Gender and Ethnic Differences and Implications for Piano Playing, by Boyle, Boyle & Booker. http://www.appca.com.au/proceedings/
At the same conference, six well-known Melbourne pianists performed on a Kawai GM12 150 cm grand piano with octave size a little over 6 inches (approx 15/16 of the conventional size). These pianists all chose repertoire they found challenging or uncomfortable on the conventional keyboard, and they had very little preparation time on the different keyboard size. In the panel discussion afterwards, they spoke very positively about the benefits of this keyboard. The hand spans of these six pianists covered a wide range – from a woman with very small hands to three men with ‘average’ size spans for males. As one of the participants, a successful teacher of elite young people, Glenn Riddle, said afterwards: ‘These pianos should be everywhere!’
<—-Left to Right: Erica Booker & Rhonda Boyle (organisers), Tim Young, Julia Hastings, John Blanch (General Manager, Kawai Australia), Elyane Laussade, Glenn Riddle, Rohan Murray, Kenji Fujimura
2005 - A world first!
Canadian pianist Linda Gould has released this video of excerpts from her performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on a DS5.5® keyboard installed in a Yamaha G2, recorded back in 2005. We think that this is probably the first public video of anyone performing on this size keyboard!