This week a beautiful new piano arrived in Auburn Public Theater’s Stage Right space. Graciously donated by Pete and Doreen Richichi, the instrument has a particularly compelling story: This year marks the piano’s 100th birthday and was manufactured right here in Auburn, NY in 1916.
The Richichi’s had the piano meticulously restored and become a passionate project as they recall, “There is something special about rescuing a piece of history from being lost forever to time.” Master craftsmen Myles Kaufman of Country Piano was chosen to restore the piece to its original beauty. However, bringing the instrument back to it’s prime condition was not an easy task. Pete described, “She was dissembled and totally stripped to bare wood. All the inner workings, over 10,000 parts, were disassembled, cleaned, repaired and reinstalled. The ivory of the keyboard was reconditioned back to its original color and feel.” However Pete recollects that the effort was well worth the reward, “I remember the day Myles delivered her to our home and unveiled the finished product. Her beauty took our breath away and we are so proud to have brought her back to life.”
Now that Pete and Doreen’s children are grown, they decided to relocate to South Carolina, but could not bring themselves to take the piano from its original home. “Here she was born, and here she should stay as a reminder of a proud past and should have the opportunity to bring joy, through music, to the citizens of Central New York and its visitors. We know Auburn Public Theater will give her a good home and love her as we do.”