San Francisco Music from the Gold Rush (Concert) Oct. 4, 1998

Music Sources, Center for Historically Informed Performance, Inc., Berkeley, California

Sylvie Braitman, soprano
John Khouri, piano (Cummings & Canfield, New York, about 1860)
Laurette Goldberg, host and piano
Mary Kay Duggan, project research

Pianist John Khouri performs music from old San Francisco on a contemporary piano with a cast iron interior frame that weighs about 900 pounds. Newly introduced, cast iron construction allowed strings to be strung at high tension so that for the first time the piano could achieve the loud, full sound so impressive to audiences.

This piano was created in New York for Harriet Beecher Stowe, though it is not certain that she received it. The panel above the mother-of-pearl keys contains paintings of scenes from Uncle Tom's Cabin: Eva with Uncle Tom, and crossing the ice of the Ohio River.