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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Vietor, Harman Bernard

Keyboard instrument maker, Musical instrument seller and organist. C1760 to 1771 in London.  Porter Street, Newport Market. Vietor emigrated from London to United States about 1771 and continued making harpsichords and pianos.

An advertisement that appeared in the Public Advertiser on 1st February 1768 was: “To the virtuess (sic) and admirers of music. To be disposed of at reasonable prices. A fine toned upright harpsichord of four stops in mahogany case with four front doors. A neat and well toned perfect David’s Harp with seven pedals. A strong double bass with wheel machines of four strings. A tenor of Jacobus Stainer and two Cremonian of Nicolaus Amaticy, (Nicolaus Amati) of 1664 and 1675.  To be seen at Organist Vietor’s in Porter-Street, Newport Market, St. Ann’s Soho, who continues to sell Forte Pianos in different sizes and constructions of which he is the sole inventor, and has had the honour to sell a great many of them within these seven years to the great part of the Nobility and gentry in these kingdoms”.

There is an article about Harman Vietor and his Forte ex Piano that gives more information about the only known surviving Forte Piano made by him while in London.  The advertisement above suggests that he may have been making Forte ex Pianos from 1761 before the first Zumpe square piano.

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