- Business Advocacy
Award-winning pianist Brendan White will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 28, on the historical 1918 Mason & Hamlin grand piano at the Alhambra Performing Arts Center in a free concert under the direction of Chef and Artistic Director Bill Yee. The performance will take place at Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church, 1850 W. Hellman Ave., Alhambra.
Originally from Tennessee, Mr. White enjoys the diverse life of a pianist in Los Angeles, where he combines his love of traditional classical piano repertoire with an avid interest in genre-bending modern and experimental music. He has performed as soloist with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Eastman’s Musica Nova, and the Delta Symphony Orchestra. As a devoted performer of new music, he has worked with notable composers and conductors including Thomas Adès, Donald Crockett, Alan Pierson, Steven Stucky, and Jeffrey Milarsky.
Mr. White is a member of the Mühlfeld Clarinet Trio, winners of the Beverly Hills Auditions, which performs traditional chamber music alongside brand new works for clarinet, cello, and piano. He collaborates regularly with the immersive theater group the Speakeasy Society, whose shows often feature largely improvised music that evolves with the narrative. In addition to playing piano, he can occasionally be spotted as a secret organist, percussionist, or tenor..
Mason Hamlin versus Steinway
There are three remaining American piano companies that date back to the 1800s: Mason & Hamlin, Steinway & Sons, and Baldwin. Of the three, Mason & Hamlin and Steinway are still hand-built in the USA. Mason & Hamlin is the most expensive piano for the manufacturer to build in the USA. Compared to a Steinway, it is heaver when comparing size for size. It has more wood in the rim creating thicker more sound projecting rims often 30% deeper. This top quality hard rock maple costs both companies the same amount except in the Mason there is 30% more of it.
The cast iron plate in the Mason is a full perimeter plate covering all edges of the piano where it comes in contact with the rim. This plate weighs 25% more than the comparable Steinway plate. The real test of a piano is not based on these details of better quality alone, it is based on touch and tone. Mason & Hamlin has embraced technological advances that make it the longest lasting most trouble free piano on the market. Over time, most piano soundboards lose their crown, but not the Mason & Hamlin with its exclusive “Crown Retention System.” Often times a 100-year- old Mason still sings because of this exclusive feature invented 100 years ago. Mason & Hamlin pianos have long sustaining singing tone with notes that seem to hang in the air forever.
The Mason & Hamlin grand piano at the Alhambra Performing Arts Center was gifted to Mr. Yee from the estate of Edith Ballantyne Rath, a niece related to the family of the famous Rath Meat Packing Company, one of the most prominent during WWII. Mr.Yee was a fellow choir member with Ms. Rath in the renowned Lake Avenue Church Sanctuary Choir and helped take care of her until her passing and subsequent estate liquidation. The Mason & Hamlin piano that she owned was a gift that her father gave to her mother as a wedding present in 1918. It was fully restored with a grant from the Trustees at Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church, where the Alhambra Performing Arts Center is located. Some of the finest pianists from classical to jazz and contemporary music have performed on it at the center.
Admission is free. Freewill offerings are accepted during the intermission.
For more information, contact Mr. Yee at 626-230-5435, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.