At the front end of my musical history stood a Canadian-made Sterling upright with a light action, a couple of chipped keys and sustain for days. But a very ugly year of classical performance in university and another year selling pianos in a moribund Downsview piano store helped me to forget, at least in part, the love I had for classical piano repertoire. By the time I started to miss having an acoustic piano around, school was long over, the piano store was bankrupt, and the Sterling was a mere memory even to my parents, who had given it away when they moved many years before. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
I knew there was some happy medium between the $500 upright I followed from a classified ad to an unheated garage in Pickering last February and the $20,000 refurbished Heintzman grand at Lowrey’s, and I finally found it in an industrial unit in Scarborough, in the guise of a very reasonably priced Yamaha U1 48-inch upright. Next step: ARCT certification. If you have any classical sheet music or books you’d like to get rid of, let me know — I’m buying the stuff up by the pound.