There are number of people out there who are real high end piano guys. I’m one of them with my own story…and the domain.
I’m Eric Johnson. Except for a couple brief periods, I have been in the piano industry all my working life. My particular mix is manufacturing, technical and artist relations. I have very close connections with Bosendorfer, both personally and professionally. Also along the way I’ve had very good mentors and teachers, some aware that I learned a lot from them, others not.
My early experience was as technician and manager for Bosendorfer Pianos, then a subsidiary of Kimball International. I was a piano technician while a student at the Berklee College in Boston. After graduation I joined Kimball, first on the Kimball technical service side, later doing my high end training at the Bosendorfer factory in Vienna.While my titles were managerial (National Bosendorfer Service Manager, Eastern Regional Sales and Service Manager) my job was mainly as a concert tech, overseeing the at-the-time-large bank of concert and institutional pianos in North America.
In the mid 80’s, after having lived in both French Lick Indiana and New York City, I decided that I needed to move on from the piano world and spent 2 fantastic years in Ithaca New York getting an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University. Through a string of events I ended up joining Yamaha, first at the Yamaha Communication Center (YCC) in New York, and later as Director of Artist Services for Yamaha Piano Division. The first Yamaha Artist Services (YAS) office was on West 57th st, in Metropolitan Tower. Later we moved to West 18th St and 8th Avenue, well before that area was cool.
I left Yamaha (my choice) to help start a software company. I returned to the piano industry and spent 5 years with Bosendorfer as Eastern Regional Sales Manager and US Operations Manager. When Yamaha took Bosendorfer over, I chose to move on again. No editorializing here. I had worked for both companies and decided that my future lay elsewhere. Learn more about my professional activity at www.perarts.com.
At heart I’m a High End Piano Guy.
I love high end, hand crafted European pianos. I think they are special products both for their role as a musical instrument and their role in continuing the increasingly lost activity of hand craftsmanship in piano building.With a high end piano you get an exquisitely designed furniture piece, beautifully made by a maker out to create, based on generations of experience, something original and unique. You also get a superb tool for serious musicians, one that provides a conduit to musical interpretation and expression.
The known universe of these makers includes: Bosendorfer, Bluthner, Steingraeber, Grotrian, Bechstein, Sauter, Fazioli, Forster, Estonia, and Feurich.
I believe this small group of specialty makers can expand their market by intelligently working together.
Music, particularly classical music is like breathing to me. I can’t play worth a crap but my listening experience, both at live events and through recordings, runs deep. For me this means 20th century and later with special emphasis on Bartok, Shostakovitch, Schoenberg, Berg and the like. Oh, that’s not to say earlier stuff isn’t bad. Beethoven is nice when played well. But, after all the hours I’ve spent at piano competitions, I have heard just about enough Chopin, thank you.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting.