Today Michael Belt wrote this comment on my post about our fortepiano: My Grandfather passed away this Monday past. I personally watched him build and test a few fortepianos in my time. Truly a talent…
You may remember from my post, “Our fortepiano is famous (maybe and maybe not!)” that this photograph of our fortepiano appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of Early Music America magazine, but that no credit was given to where the fortepiano was located. It was built by Philip Belt in 1970, considered the father of the modern fortepiano, and was commissioned by Else Geissmar, Carl Crosier’s college piano teacher. Saying that “he was her best student,” Else promised that one day Carl would have it. And that we did, from the year 2006 when it was crated and shipped to Honolulu from Seattle.
I found a recent article from the Palladium-Item newspaper about Philip Belt, titled “Hagerstown piano craftsman reflects on his career,” and you can read the article in its entirety by clicking the link. I was especially interested to learn that Belt fell in love with a German square piano which resided in the home of his childhood sweetheart. And although he built his career on building replicas of historic pianos (totaling 46 fortepianos), he did not read music yet he could tune pianos.
He met his current wife through a pen pal program and although he had already been married five times before, he had been married to Merlinda, a woman he met in the Philippines, for 32 years before he died last Monday. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
When Carl Crosier died last August, he bequeathed the fortepiano to local piano teacher, Mark Russell, who took possession of it last weekend to make room for my new practice pipe organ.
Speaking of the new pipe organ, the last week I have been dealing with a local freight forwarder and a customs brokerage house about getting the organ through customs. So I was most surprised to receive a phone call this morning from Todd of S & S Delivery who confirmed that they will be picking up the organ from the freight forwarder and delivering it to my condo! In case you didn’t know, we have used S & S Delivery countless times in moving the Beckerath continuo and the Cammack harpsichord all over town for short-term rentals to other musical groups. S & S also moved all my household goods when we moved from Kaneohe to downtown Honolulu in 2004.
What a small town this is, right?