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San Francisco Conservatory surplus sale

Conservatory collection delights customers at Oakland piano shop

on October 4, 2012

Fragments of jazz progressions and classical nocturnes filled the air at Oakland’s Piedmont Piano Company last weekend as customers gathered to admire, play—and purchase—the store’s recently acquired inventory of pianos from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This two-day surplus sale was the first of its kind in the Piedmont Piano Company’s 34-year history.

For years, a collection of old pianos—some dating back to the late 1800s—sat untouched inside the San Francisco Conservatory. The instruments were of rare breed, created by famous manufacturers such as Steinway & Sons, Sauter, and Bechstein. When the Conservatory decided to move to a new location near Davies Symphony Hall in downtown San Francisco, the retired piano collection was in need of a new home. Because of its longstanding relationship with Piedmont Piano, the Conservatory sold the collection to the company for a reduced rate.

In an encore to the lives of these forgotten relics, the Piedmont Piano Company offered customers a chance to play the old pianos over the weekend—some 25 instruments made their way from storage in San Francisco to the Oakland showroom. The weekend sale brought musicians of all ages together to appreciate and play these remarkable pianos once again.

Reporter Charles Berkowitz was there to report for Oakland North Radio. Click the audio player below to listen.

Visit the Piedmont Piano Company’s website here for more information about their piano inventory and in-store concerts.

Click the audio player to hear sounds from Oakland’s Piedmont Piano Company.


  1. The Rev. Patricia Eustis on February 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Wonderful story and so well written. Mr. Berkowitz is a fine, fine writer

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