Letters of Reference

Mark Goodman

Although I had known of David Stanwood for a number of years, my first chance to really experience his work was on a Steinway B on loan to the Yellow Barn Music Festival in Putney Vermont, during the summer of 1994. I performed on this piano several times, and was so impressed with its evenness and precision of touch that I contacted David in the fall and asked him to do the same modification to my piano at home, also a Steinway B.

When his work was done I felt as though I had received a new instrument; my piano felt better than it had when it first came from the showroom. Naturally I was thrilled. But it was not until I returned to the Yellow Barn Festival the following summer that I fully appreciated the extent of what David had accomplished.

When I performed again on the piano from the previous summer I felt as if I were playing my own piano at home. I could transfer all of the technical work I had done in my practicing without the infinite adjustment pianists inevitably make when going to a different instrument. It was like having the luxury of traveling with ones own piano, and my performance was relaxed and confident as a result.

If pianists could have this kind of assurance each time they approached a new instrument, it would certainly make their lives easier. A standardized evenness of touch, without sacrificing the individual character of each instrument, would seem to be one of the ultimate goals of piano making. This is what David Stanwood has achieved.

Mark Goodman, Boston, August 1995