History of The Piano Studio

The Piano Studio is a full service recording studio that specializes in piano-based soloists and ensembles.

We offer two world-class pianos to choose from - a Steinway 9' concert grand and a Baldwin 7' studio grand. Both pianos are professionally voiced and regulated on a regular basis and kept in "concert ready" condition to satisfy the most discriminating pianist.

These truly exceptional instruments reside in a spacious 700 ft² live tracking room with elegant hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings; the engineers are discreetly downstairs in the 600 ft² control room, leaving you comfortable to be yourself and sound your best.

While we do specialize in producing first class piano tracks, we love to record everyone! Violinists, classical chamber groups, solo cellists and acoustic guitarists, jazz sextets, opera divas, chinese guzheng players, and rock bands, along with many others, have chosen to record at The Piano Studio.

We have recently relocated to a wonderful new space about ten minutes North of downtown Seattle, in a quiet suburb full of old growth trees and unrestricted parking all around. The current location follows eight successful years on Seattle's Capitol Hill, and one year in our original space in Albuquerque N.M.

The studio is owned and operated by pianist Martin Buff, but sessions are available with long time house engineer Alex Rose and we welcome independent engineers.

18 MAR

EMTA Concerto Competition

Hosting the first annual Piano Concerto Competition!

Martin Buff

On Sunday, April 18th, The Piano Studio hosted the first ever Piano Concerto Competition for the Eastside Music Teacher's Association (EMTA). This exciting event brought together 21 of the best student pianists in Washington State (grades 5-12), their teachers, families, and accompanists for a day filled with beautiful music.

This type of competition features the student playing a movement or two of a classical piano concerto, with the teacher on the second piano playing the orchestra's part (which has been reduced down for a pianist to accompany the soloist). A performance like this can only work in a space with two pianos, and we were happy to accommodate.

Upstairs, in the main tracking room we had the Steinway 9' Concert Grand Model D (for the students) and the Baldwin 7' Studio Grand SF-10 (for the accompanists) side by side. Also in the tracking room, we set up an audience section for the judges and family members with a great view of both performers.

Downstairs, we had outfitted the control room as a waiting/prep room for the other performers. They were able to listen to the current performance being broadcast live through our sound system.
An amazing array of wonderful music was played, from Mozart and Beethoven, Bach and Rachmaninoff, to Scriabin and Shostakovich!

The Piano Concertos are among the most difficult in the piano literature, and what made the contestants even more impressive is that most of them also competed in the EMTA solo piano competition the same week, requiring pieces from three different musical periods.

The judges for the event were internationally recognized Canadian pianist Dr. Jacques Couillard Després (Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, University of Alberta) and Dr. Scott McBride Smith (Professor, University of Kansas and President and CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians).

We recorded each and every concerto, and afterwards sent each student a CD of their performance. Of the 21 competitors, there were six first-place winners selected, you can hear their recordings at our EMTA SoundCloud Set.

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