The PianoForte site offers the rental of A/V music recordings | Chicago Reel
Executive Director/Founder Thomas Zoells’ PianoForte Studios on Michigan Avenue is a place where serious professional musicians can rehearse, record audio and video, purchase a quality piano, and where music lovers can attend weekly performed concerts. by notable artists.
Founded in 2004 by former Swiss-born banker Zoells, PianoForte’s 11,900 m². ft, called “a piano sanctuary,” spans the first three floors of 1335 S. Michigan, a building Zoells owns.
The centerpiece of PianoForte is the versatile 29×45 foot second floor. Concert Hall, “fully equipped for video recording,” says Zoells, and is available for rent to artists recording promotional material for their tours or audio recordings of new performances for sale.
The concert hall/studio is equipped with three Sony robotic cameras, “which give the video a myriad of camera angles and close-ups,” he says. The cameras are controlled from the recording room and directed by the company’s engineer, Victor LeJeune.
Since the concert hall is integrated in the center of the building surrounded by other rooms, “it is insensitive to outside noise,” explains Zoells.
The 100 seats in the concert hall are usually filled to capacity for PianoForte’s free Friday Salon Series and 60 live radio shows per year: PianoForte Salon Series Classical Concerts air on WFMT and jazz on WDCB.
The artists are booked by Zoells, a self-taught amateur pianist, artistic director and coordinator of the PianoForte Foundation, in collaboration with Giovanna Jacques, founding member of the Chicago Fringe Opera.
“We have our own PianoForte Studios channel on YouTube, where 100 of our recordings can be viewed,” says Zoells.
The Foundation promotes piano culture in several ways, such as organizing amateur competitions, donating pianos to public schools, and organizing scholarship piano lessons, which are funded by individual donors, grants, and ticket sales.
“Chicago has a vibrant contemporary music scene, second only to New York, that started 15-20 years ago and has been growing ever since,” says Zoells.
“It’s a city where people come to become composers and play music that’s never been heard before,” he says. “And we are proud to be part of this community.”
For PianoForte’s reasonable rates for A/V recording and concert hall rentals, call Zoells at 312/291-0000 or email [email protected]