The Museum

The Museum of the American Piano opened its door to the public in 1984 as a small part of Detrich Pianos, at 211 West 58th Street in midtown Manhattan. In 2000, the museum moved to a dedicated location at 291 Broadway, near City Hall, downtown Manhattan.

The museum fulfilled its mission of presenting the piano?s development through a historical collection of functioning keyboard instruments that included a clavichord, a spinet, a two manual harpsichord, square pianos (Clementi, Osborn, Geib, Barnes), a Viennese fortepiano (Stein replica), and an English grand piano (Broadwood). Many other instruments in the collection were also exhibited or were waiting to be included after careful restoration by the museum's own piano restoration shop. Dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of pianos built over the last two centuries, the collection also included action models and historical ephemera related to a wide sampling of the various creations and inventions by piano manufacturers.

A larger performance room at the new location allowed for numerous presentations, from classical to jazz, from student recitals to professional performances, with lectures on the workings of early and modern pianos and historical presentations, as well as premiers of new works for piano and ensembles. The Museum of the American Piano offered opportunities for participating musicians and listeners to hear and feel the instruments that were in the hands of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.

The museum also offered private piano lessons in several small studios, a 100 hour piano tuning and repair course, and a wood finishing and woodworking course.

The Museum of the American Piano was founded by Kalman Detrich, who remained its Executive Director until closing in the winter of 2004.