Pianist Dominic Ferris records original piano arrangements for Steinway Spirio
At the beginning of July, Dominic Ferris visited Steinway Hall in Hamburg to record his original piano arrangements for Steinway Spirio.
Jon Feidner, Director of Music and Media of Steinway Spirio Worldwide, travelled from New York along with his Spirio team to experiment with some new recording technology for the self-playing model in Hamburg. For these sessions, the team chose to record with a New York Model B (Serial: 607754).
Before the recording trip, Dominic discussed repertoire with the Spirio team and staff in Hamburg.
Dominic explains: “Jon Feidner and his team are in the process of expanding their music catalogue for Spirio so that customers who buy the instrument have as much choice as possible. As they already have a fairly comprehensive catalogue of the standard classical repertoire, we thought it might be nice to record some original piano arrangements of material from varying genres. For these sessions we chose titles such as Moon River from the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s, I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Miserables and Somewhere from West Side Story, all arranged in a quasi symphonic style.”
After each take was complete, Dominic listened back to the recordings with Jon and the team to decide which takes should be used for the final master. Once these had been agreed, they would then be processed in New York and officially released into the Spirio catalogue later this year.
Dominic continues: “The technology behind Spirio is a leap forward from any of its self-playing predecessors. It is slightly unnerving watching the piano play back exactly what you have just recorded with astounding accuracy. As well as the New York Model B we used for the recording process, there was also a Hamburg B in the room which was used to reference the playback after recording each take. Of course, every Steinway has its own personality, but even on the second piano, the performance was still very controlled by the playback system and was a very true replication of the original performance.”
Dominic studied piano performance at The Royal College of Music and has since built an international reputation as a live performer and regular recording artist at Abbey Road Studios. His piano recordings on Elvis Presley’s If I Can Dream album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have sold over two million albums worldwide.
Dominic’s relationship with Steinway & Sons began in April 2012 following a chance meeting with master Steinway piano technician, Ulrich Gerhartz. He invited Dominic to Steinway Hall in London to try some pianos from his Concert & Artist fleet. It was this relationship with Gerhartz and Craig Terry, Managing Director of Steinway London, that would lead to the birth of The Piano Brothers.
The Piano Brothers, Dominic Ferris and Indonesian pianist Elwin Hendrijanto, are a cutting edge piano duo who create and perform their own arrangements for two pianos and one piano four hands. Steinway Hall London hosted the launch of the duo in March 2013 and later that year, Dominic and Elwin were commissioned by Steinway to compose a piano duet to accompany a short film showing the ‘Making of a Steinway Model B’. They aptly named the piece, ‘Ballade For Steinway’, and regularly perform it live to the film in their concerts.
The Piano Brothers regularly tour worldwide and have recently collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra, which will see their rendition of Muse’s song, Uprising, feature on an upcoming album release early next year.
Dominic regularly gives concerts in London. You can find more details of forthcoming shows here.