by Jarrett Hoffman
When the Contemporary Youth Orchestra opens its 25th season this weekend, those in the audience will see players playing, conductor conducting, and a piano whose pedals and keys depress and release, letting out the most artful of sounds, but without anyone laying a finger on it.
A talented ghost? Not exactly. Steinway & Sons has developed a high-resolution player piano known as the Spirio. By measuring hammer velocity and pedaling, it can reproduce a performance that, according to the company, is “utterly indistinguishable” from the original.
Using a Spirio, Antonio Pompa-Baldi has already recorded the solo part to Roberto Piana’s new Concerto Fantastique. That instrument will be onstage in front of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra and music director Liza Grossman, playing back Pompa-Baldi’s performance during the work’s premiere on Saturday, November 16 at 7:00 pm at Mandel Theatre on the Eastern Campus of Cuyahoga Community College. The program also includes Gustav Holst’s The Planets. [Read more…]