Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wagner Family History 1st to 4th generations

First Generation

In early 19th century, 1st generation, Hoe Fook Ling, at the age 12+ years old, the only son of a Sundry Manager, was send to Japan to learn the art of piano making by his father.

In 1920, Hoe Fook Ling decided to emigrated from Ningbo, Shanghai, China to Singapore. There he set up a piano business Union Piano Shop with a relative at the same time opened a branch in Malaysia (then known as Federation of Malaya). He became the first person to build a piano in Singapore under the piano brand Kinner. With respect, peoples in the piano field, give a nickname to him as King of Piano. During his time in Singapore, his wife, his only son and 6 daughters still remain in China. At the age of 48, he was called back to China as his father was too sick. Since then, he had his early retirement and the piano shop failed to materialize.

Second Generation

His son, the 2nd generation, Hoe Ah Choy follows his father's footsteps and works in the 1st British piano firm, Moutrie, Robinson & Company operating in Shanghai, China as a piano technician.

In 1936, Hoe Ah Choy at the age of 25, was transferred to Malaysia (then known as Federation of Malaya) and reside at a squatter house in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (then known as Batu Road) as a tuner and repairer for Moutrie, Robinson & Company.

Moutrie, Robinson & Company closed down in the early 1950s. Later, in 1951, Hoe Ah Choy started a small enterprise Wagner Piano Company along with his wife, Kong Kim Goh, selling new imported pianos from United Kingdom and introduced Wagner piano. Shortly, he started piano assembling from semi-completed form from U.K. and later from Germany and Japan with the help of his children.

In 1960, the company moved to a larger premises at No. 26, Jalan Dang Wangi, (then known as Campbell Road) and at No. 88, Jalan Imbi, (then known as Imbi Road) Kuala Lumpur. There, the family business went one step further by producing the cabinets of the pianos locally in order to stay competitive.

Third Generation

In 1969, the eldest son, 3rd generation Hoe Tuck Wah and his siblings, embarked on piano making courses and visiting traditional piano making factories in United Kingdom, Europe, United Stated of America as well as in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea and also by stripping down good German and England pianos to find out the secrets of their craftsmanship and also to evaluate the viability of piano manufacturing.

In 1972, Hoe Tuck Wah started Malaysia first and only piano factory Musical Product Sdn. Bhd. was set up in Lahat (just outside Ipoh), Perak, Malaysia manufacturing pianos under license brands like Challen, Witton & Witton, Barratt & Robinson from England and brand C.Steinbert from German scale designed brand C.Steinbert by D.H. Dotzek with the help of his brothers.

As the company organization continues to expand, on 16th April 1975, Wagner Piano Company was transformed into a private limited company and renamed to Wagner Piano Sdn. Bhd. In 1980's, Wagner Piano Sdn Bhd took over Petrof Piano House in Singapore and renamed to Wagner Petrof Piano Pte Ltd (agent for Petrof pianos for South-East Asia and Australasia)

Standing from L-R : Patrick, Tuck Foo, Mary, Tuck Wah, Sai Kuen
Sitting from L-R : Tuck Liong, Philip, Mr Hoe Ah Choy, Ivan,
Mrs Hoe (Kong Kim Goh) and Simon

Later in the years 1981, 1987 to the late 1990's, the 3rd generations of the Hoes (with 7 brothers and 2 sisters)

  1. Hoe Tuck Wah
  2. Hoe Tuck Foo
  3. Mary Ho May Li
  4. Ho Sai Kuen
  5. Patrick Hoe Tuck Pui
  6. Hoe Tuck Liong
  7. Philip Hoe Tuck Hao
  8. Simon Ho Tuck Wan
  9. Ivan Hoe Tuck Fong

setting up piano business trade with different companies name in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore.

These companies are :

(3rd Generation) (4th Generation)

  • Vienna Music Sdn. Bhd./ Musical Product- (Hoe Tuck Wah) (Liza Hoe)
  • Syarikat Alat-Alat Muzik Weng Lee- (Hoe Tuck Foo) (David Hoe, Steven Hoe, Nancy Hoe)
  • Wagner Piano Sdn. Bhd.- (Hoe Tuck Pui & Hoe & Hoe Tuck Hao) (James Hoe)
  • Wagner Music Shop- (Ho Tuck Wan) (Peter Ho & Susan Ho)
  • Wagner Piano Company- (Hoe Tuck Fong)

have grown into one of the most established and reputable piano retailers and wholesalers in Malaysia.

Fourth Generation

Wagner Music Shop (previously Wagner Piano Sdn Bhd) owned by Ho Tuck Wan (Simon Ho) registered Wagner Music Shop from year 2000,after working for over 30 years in Wagner Piano Sdn Bhd. During the years in Wagner Piano Sdn Bhd, Simon Ho were in charge of Wagner Piano Sdn Bhd and Musical Products factory. Mr. Ho then expand business throughout Perak, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Brunei and etc specialize in manufacturing, tuning and repairing.

Simon Ho's oldest son Peter Ho graduated in Hawaii, USA under Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004. He then went to work in companies under Austrians and Texchem Tan Sri Fumihiko Konishi. But decided to come back to Wagner Music Shop in 2008. Simon Ho taught his oldest son, Peter Ho in major piano restoration, repair, tuning and after sales service methods. Peter overall contributed on Business Administration, Purchasing and Customer relations.

Simon Ho's oldest daughter Joyce Ho graduated in Frankfurt, Germany with master in music pedagogy and a piano performing. She also received piano competition awards, the associated board of Royal Schools of Music, London & Trinity College London Diploma. She is teaching professional piano playing to students in University College Sedaya International, University of Malaya and etc and also to expatriates and professionals. Since her return in Malaysia, she has performed in several solo concerts as well as colleborating with some other musicians in Malaysia.

Simon Ho's youngest daughter Susan Ho is a certified professional teacher, training children from ages 2 to 5, a program under kinder beat. She is teaching piano classes from beginner students to advanced students.

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Karl schmidt and Young chang pianos

New piano available

Karl Schmidt
Upright Black Mahogany/Walnut
Model 121 RM10,800 RM11,100
Model 123 RM11,500 RM11,800
Model 125 RM12,200 RM12,500
Model 125 (UG) RM12,500 RM12,800

Karl Schmidt
Grand Piano Black Mahogany/Walnut
GR 147 (4'10") RM 25,500 RM26,500
GR 160(5'3") RM28,000 RM29,000
GP 142 (4'8") RM26,500 RM275,00
GP 152 (5') RM28,500 RM29,500
GP 168 (5'6") RM30,500 RM31,500
GP 173 (5'8") RM33,000 RM34,000
GP 186 (6'1") RM36,000 RM37,000

GR model grand pianos are equipped with Japan felt hammer while GP model are equipped with German felt hammers

Young Chang
Model E-118MP RM9,800 Mahogany
Model U-121WP RM10,500 Walnut

Prices subject to change with or without prior notice

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wagner piano before and after restoration and repair process

After a year exceed 20 years, it requires to do restoration and repair. Below are the pictures showing the before and after repair and restoration process of a 20 years wagner piano.

This is an after full piano restoration and repair process.

Before the restoration and repair process

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Playing in da snow

Snow piano is so pity.

Piano decoration

Piano decoration in oxford pub. Nice one

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Piano shop in UK close

Last piano factory in UK to close

Kemble pianos have been manufactured in the UK for 98 years
The UK's last piano maker, based in Milton Keynes, has announced it is closing with the loss of 90 jobs.
Kemble and Co in Bletchley has been making pianos for almost 100 years. Main shareholder Yamaha decided that it was no longer viable.
The company says it will do all it can to help the workforce following the closure in October.
From November, the Yamaha and Kemble pianos will be made at other Yamaha factories outside the UK.
'Increasing pressure'
A Yamaha spokesman said: " As the marketplace for mid-range pianos comes under increasing pressure, and in order to improve our long term competitiveness, the best solution is to fully utilise our manufacturing capacity in other locations.
"Of course Yamaha is very sorry to have to lose the dedicated and committed staff at Kemble's and we will be doing all that is possible to help them."
Brian Kemble, joint managing director of Kemble and Co and grandson of the founder, said: "It is a very sad day for my staff, the Kemble family and for manufacturing in UK.
"During the 1980s recession Yamaha rode to our rescue, and thanks to them we have continued manufacturing for another 23 years.
"We owe Yamaha a huge debt of gratitude for this."
'Difficult times'
Since 1986, when Yamaha became involved, the company has made and sold more than 120,000 pianos and won a Queen's award for exports.
The company said despite the tough economic climate sales of Kemble pianos actually increased last year.
Mr Kemble said: "My heart goes out to all my staff members who are losing their jobs in such difficult economic times.
"We are doing our best to give them support and help them get back into the job market."

Buying piano objectives by Digitus

When you buy a piano you are trying to satisfy three objectives:
Good tone and touch
Meet a budget
Have access to a piano tech who can help you keep the piano in good shapeI'll give two answers, a short one and a long one.The Short AnswerSet your budget at somewhere between $6,000 and $12,000. More is better. Get a piano from Yamaha, Kawai or Hailun that meets your budget. If you have deep pockets then you need to read the long answer.The Long AnswerThe first two objectives are often mutually exclusive, but it is possible to find a good compromise. But you MUST do your homework.If you haven't already got Larry Fine's Piano Book please do so ASAP. It condenses into one volume all the essential things you need to know about how pianos work, how to care for them (though variations are needed for a tropical climate), and how to at least be able to inspect a piano to determine its general physical condition. It also gives a rundown of all the brands available in North America. Obviously a large subset of those brands are also available here in Singapore, and that's why the book is still valuable in the local context. There are two things about the Piano Book that you need to keep in mind.First, the prices in the Piano Book are valid only for the U.S. Nevertheless you can still use them as a very rough guide to relative pricing differences in Singapore. It doesn’t always work. For example, Steinway pianos in the U.S. are made in their factory in Astoria, NY. Steinway pianos in Singapore come from the Hamburg factory, and their prices are significantly higher than the equivalent NY Steinway models. Also, some models that a manufacturer offers in the U.S. aren’t available in Singapore, and vice versa.Second, the piano categories (referred to in the piano world as ‘tiers’) must not be taken as the Gospel Truth. Even Larry Fine himself warns against that, but many people seem to think that he is the God of Pianos and therefore what he says must be so. Nevertheless, the Piano Book’s categorization is still useful because it gives an idea of how a manufacturer stands in relation to all other brands. It may not be entirely accurate and is subjective to a point, but there is nothing else out there that even comes close to bringing some structure and sanity to the task of buying a piano.After having been suitably educated, you then start making the rounds of the dealers and playing on on as many pianos as you can, good and bad. That’s if you are looking for a new piano. If you are in the market for a second-hand piano then you will have to also scan the newspaper classifieds, supermarket bulletin boards, etc. It is useful to set yourself a budget to start with, and have an idea of how much upward flex you have. What many, many piano buyers (including myself) have found is that piano shopping is Very Bad (TM) for your wallet.Beginners are not the only people new to pianos. Many expert players (yes including teachers), are also new to pianos. Why do I say this? Well, if all you’ve ever had exposure to was the upright (on which you clawed your way up to Grade 8 or ABRSM diploma) and the examination piano, then you are new to pianos. In other words you have not had exposure to a good range of what’s available, from the very best (in Larry Fine’s Tier 1), to the inexpensive mass market brands (in Tier 4).Therefore, in order to make an informed choice, you need a baseline from which you can reference and compare other pianos as you do your search. You can use any piano or brand as your baseline, but I strongly suggest that you pick a brand from Tier 1 or a good one from Tier 2. Even better (if your skin is thick enough, heheh) is to sample as many pianos from the Tier 1 & 2 brands as you can find. None, I repeat, none of the brands are intended to sound or feel alike. There will even be variations within a brand. And there will be variation between different pianos of the same model, though this is generally less, particularly from the large, high-quality mass market manufacturers.So, the idea is to work your way down the brands in the Piano Book’s tiers until you find a piano that meets your budget and has the most agreeable tone and touch for you at that price.I am almost certain that at some point in your search you will toy with the idea of increasing your budget by some big number! I did. Twice -- once for an upright and once for a grand piano! But please be sensible OK? Don’t sell the dog, spouse, kids, and home just to get the piano of your dreams. A more modestly priced piano can still be a tremendous instrument to play on if it has been properly prepped and tuned.So, now that you are about to embark on your top-down piano search, you run up against your first problem. Not all of the Tier 1 brands are represented , even though their web sites may list one or more dealers. Then, of the Tier 1 brands that are really represented, not all their models are available for demo here. But that’s OK if all you want is a reference point.If you are buying a Tier 1 piano then there are two ways around this: buy sight unseen, or visit the factory. Buying sight unseen is not for the faint-hearted, and you must have enough trust and confidence in the manufacturer’s ability to deliver a piano with their signature tone and touch. The tech then must be skillful enough to be able to do fine adjustments to the voice to suit the buyer. The tech must also be competent enough to be able to troubleshoot and fix all but the most serious problems that might arise.And then the next problem - not all dealers of Tier 1 and even Tier 2 pianos properly prep nor tune their showroom units. That’s a shame. It’s like walking into the a car showroom and going for a test-drive in a car with under-inflated tires, wrong octane petrol in the tank and engine not firing on all cylinders. Also, showrooms can be acoustically dreadful. Some are so acoustically dead that the piano sounds dull and lifeless. Some are so ‘live’ that you get aurally fatigued after playing for 5 or 10 minutes. You’ll have to try to compensate mentally for the showroom acoustics.To assess a piano's tone, one of the best ways is to have someone else play the piano while you step away from it. The piano bench is actually not where you hear the piano’s full and true tone. Typically the piano store will have at least one person who can play a bit for you. If they don't then bring along a friend who can!As for the piano's touch, well you have to prepare a fixed set of tests and play it yourself at every piano that you are looking at. The Piano Book has some suggestions. You can also add things like pieces you have already learned. Don't feel shy about playing even if you are a beginner. It's not an ego contest. Everybody had to start somewhere, even the flashy player showing off his/her skills in the showroom. If the sales rep treats you like dirt or you feel that he/she is trying to do a hard-sell job on you, just walk out. You have choices.You may ask how a beginner with very basic keyboard skills can tell what's good and bad about a piano's touch. Actually, its not that critical. Touch becomes really critical only when you reach higher skill levels, where the successful execution of difficult passages can depend on the quality of the piano's action. But it really doesn't hurt to try to educate your fingers as early and as often as possible. Many piano owners, including expert players, still visit showrooms to play on other pianos. It's a sickness! As for piano inspections, you must do them if you are buying a second-hand piano from a private seller. Also ask about the piano’s history. There just aren’t many piano techs that you can confidently engage to assess a piano for you, so you’d better learn how to do it yourself. The Piano Book give you some useful tips about this. If you are buying the piano (new or second-hand) from a dealer, then you’ll just have to trust that the dealer has prepped and/or repaired the piano properly, and that the warranty means something.The third objective is kind of hard to meet in Singapore because there is only a handful of very good techs here. Otherwise, the general level of piano tech expertise here is only just adequate, even within the largest piano dealers/agents. I know this statement is offensive to piano techs in Singapore, but that has been my experience, and also the experience of other piano owners that I know. It's not that they are willfully mediocre, but because the level and quality of training here is just not comparable to what is available in the U.S. and Europe.Fortunately, pianos from the established and reputable brands are usually well-made. If you look after them properly and nothing bad happens within the first couple of years then they are likely to last for years, decades even. If you require access to better techs than what your dealer can provide then you can always ask for recommendations in this forum.The piano trade in Singapore seems to be particularly vicious compared to say in the North American continent and Europe. The market is small, popularity of the piano is falling, and there are too many dealers. As a result, some dealers resort unnecessarily to ‘creative’ sales and marketing tactics that are sometimes downright distasteful (such as bad-mouthing other brands and dealers). Be wary of a dealer that does this instead of selling his or her pianos on their own merits. Actually if I hear Dealer A saying bad things about Dealer B and the brands that he carries, my instinct would be to go and check out the competition! I did, and I ended up buying my grand piano from Dealer B and I could not be happier with my choice. To me, if a dealer is saying bad things about another dealer or another brand, it tells me that the dealer is afraid of his competition. If he wasn't then there is no need to try to shoot down the competition. So it is in your own self-interests to forearm yourself with enough knowledge about the piano before you open your wallet. At the very least you must have a basic understanding of how a piano’s mechanicals work and something about the maufacturers and brands that are available.