FALCONE

The Handmade American Piano



Originally trained as a tuner and piano technician, Santi Falcone had been occupied with the rebuilding of high quality pianos at his Woburn Massachusetts business site for several years, and had accumulated a vast storehouse of ideas about a piano design with improved action and acoustics, which could only be made in small numbers by skilled craftsmen. He wanted to combine the acoustic strength of the Steinway piano with the lyrical qualities of some of the best European instruments. By a complicated chain of events he was able to purchase the Mason Hamlin factory in Haverhill MA where there were facilities for putting his new piano design into practice, and he was able to produce his first instrument as #1001 in 1982. By 1986 the Falcone Piano Company at Haverhill was in limited production for instruments of his own design, which were quickly recognized as pianos of superb sound executed in painstaking detail. When he parted from the supervision of the company in 1989, only 169 pianos had been made under his personal supervision, although some 480 more were not done under his personal command, to the end of the series in 1993.

A descriptive Tour of the Falcone Factory in the mid-1980's gives a detailed account of the building of a Falcone piano, as it works it way up from raw parts at the ground level, through the six floors of the building, to the Concert Gallery at the top floor where it is tested and adjusted by Santi Falcone to the new owner's taste.

This Site has been constructed for two major purposes. First, it seeks to collect information from owners of Falcone pianos about their instruments. It is desirable to have a complete listing of the serial numbers, sizes, condition, and optimally any information about the owners and their estimation of the piano they own.

Second, it will bring together information about the work of Santi Falcone, who is no longer making pianos but willing to share information about the history of his enterprise in producing the Falcone Piano. His detailed and accurate memory of how and why his piano design evolved, will be of interest to us as owners of Falcones, but also of value to those who are concerned with the evolving upper-end of modern piano manufacture.

I invite you as Falcone owners to send me an email which I will file on a list of identified instruments, to be appended to this webpage as the entries accumulate. Just the serial number, size and your name as owner will be sufficient. I encourage you to add mail and e-mail address and anything you wish to say about your piano and its history.

Santi Falcone is as energetic and social as ever and is always glad to talk with owners evenings at 978 369 8913. He can also be reached email or you can write to him c/o Dante Confections, 199 Boston Rd. North Billerica, MA. 01862. A glance at the website will show that Mr. Falcone has not lost his taste for elegance.

Please send email information on your piano with a brief description and your comments on the instrument, along with address and phone number, to William Harris for addition to this list.

Note that the Falcone pianos made in Haverhill MA can be dated by their series numbers which run as follows for each year:

1982- - - - - - - - - -1001. . .
1983- - - - - - - - - -1004 . . .
1984- - - - - - - - - -1008. . .
1985- - - - - - - - - -1016. . .
1986- - - - - - - - - -1027. . .
1987- - - - - - - - - -1047. . .
1988- - - - - - - - - -1110 . . .
1989- - - - - - - - - -1201. . .
1990- - - - - - - - - -1305 . . .
1991- - - - - - - - - -1414 . . .
1992- - - - - - - - - -1560 . . .
1993- - - - - - - - - -1620 . . .


Some years ago when I was watching the rebuilding of a Steinway L by Ole Hansen and his staff, I put together a paper describing the regulation of a standard Renner type action, with details which a technically minded owner might like to look into. While just now adjusting the balance rail to jack to improve repeats on trills, I thought this paper might be of interest to Falcone owners. W. Harris.

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Santi Falcone has as his own piano a Model 7'4", Serial no. 1040, from 1987 in Brazilian Rosewood, with ivory and ebony keys. Mr. Falcone notes: "This is my personal piano. . ." from 1986, his choice so no further description will be necessary.

Falcone 6'1" 169 black-gloss, from preferred year 1988. This is apparently the last piano Santi Falcone actually supervised at the Haverhill plant, as#170 is from the following year l988. I purchased it Sept. 06, find it is in perfect condition and apparently never much played, a great studio piano for my classical improvisation and recording. Compared to my previous piano, a rebuilt 1925 Steinway L, I find this very lyrical, with a delicate touch and remarkably long resonances. I am learning to refine my sense of touch with this sensitive instrument. - - - William Harris, Shoreham VT 05770. ----[harris@middlebury.edu]

My Falcone piano 7'4" serial number 1246 in black satin finish (not glossy) , was a generous and thoughtful gift from my loving parents. My piano professor and our piano tuner assisted me in selecting this piano in 1991 at Boston at the Mason and Hamlin --- Falcone piano factory it Massachusetts, U.S.A. I use it as a playing and a teaching instrument in my piano studio. Due to its sweet tone and sensitivity, I mainly do my daily practice and work with my students on this instrument. The Falcone piano is a fine instrument, with the lucid tone of a Bosendorfer, and the responsiveness of a Steinway. - - - Angela Chan
[www.angelachan.ca].

I own Falcone #1102, a 6' 1" grand in like new condition. Finish is black satin. I bought it in 1998 at Rodgers Pianos in Hanover, Mass. I am a pianist/choral director/music teacher in the suburbs of Syracuse, New York. Mine is completely original and in like new condition. There is barely a scratch on my almost 20 year old piano. The sound is glorious. My previous instrument was a 1908 Steinway Model "O" that was totally restored. The Falcone is more lyrical and has a sustain that is unmatched. - - - Irwin Goldberg
[ocmea@aol.com]

Emilie Simz. We had a conversation and she will send details about her large Falcone soon. 760 726 5527
[emiliesimz@sbc.global.com]

I have a 7'4" Falcone at home - serial number 1108. The college where I teach, Palomar College also has a 9ft Falcone - serial no. 1037. I know of the existence of at least 2 others in the area. Let me know if you need info on that. I know of the existence of at least two others in the area. I will try get information info on that. Peter Gach
[PGach@palomar.edu]

I own a black, satin-finish, 7'4" Falcone (#1047) with ivory and ebony keys. My piano teacher, Hugh S. Thompson, Sr., of Beaumont, Texas, fell in love with the entire Falcone line after visiting the Massachusetts factory and helped my parents choose one to buy for my brother and me after we outgrew a Young Chang baby grand. Of course, that was when we might have been professional musicians when we grew up! I remember that Mr. Thompson occasionally brought touring soloists to our house to use that piano instead of his Steinways. I have it in my living room now and look forward to relearning some of my early pieces on a great instrument. - - - Angelique Lee Siy, Houston, Texas.
[alia@alumni.rice.edu]

We bought our Falcone 6'1" piano in 1989 from the Falcone Piano Company for our son who graduated from Oberlin in 2002. From the time we purchased the Falcone until he left for College where fraduated 2002. we were treated with live classical piano music for hours each day. When attending his concerts or recitals, I would find myself involuntarily comparing the Falcone sound to whatever instrument would be available at any particular recital venue, most often a Steinway. The Falcone seemed to produce a brighter and more sparkling high range as well as a richer and more powerful bass despite the fact that our Falcone was merely a 6"1" grand while the Steinways were often full concert grands. Santi Falcone certainly knew how to product magnificent instruments and I wish the Company could have succeeded longer with its original constitution and been able to produce more pianos. - - - - David and Loretta Tolwinski
[David.Tolwinski@Verizon.net]

I own a Falcone 6' 1", black-gloss finish, with ivory and ebony keys, serial # 1131, produced for me in 1988. I was the Attorney for Santi Falcone and Falcone Piano Company and handled the Industrial Revenue Bond transaction when they acquired the factory building in Haverhill for the production of the Falcone pianos. In 1997 we moved from Massachusetts to San Diego and the Falcone was the one piece of furniture that moved with us! I just wanted to drop you a quick note, to be followed up in the future with more detail. - - - - Gregory J. Barnes, Esq. [gb@procopio.com]

I own 9' concert grand # 1194. This was purchased new, from the Falcone / Mason & Hamlin dealer in New London, CT, shortly before they went out of business in (as I recall) 1994 or thereabouts. In common with other Falcone instruments I have heard, this piano possesses the remarkable treble sustain and clarity which distinguishes the Falcone design. Also of especial note is the unsual degree of pitch resolution in the lowest register, allowing the harmony of even complex bass chords to be readily balanced and clearly projected, a most unusual characteristic. The piano has been used for a number of commercial recordings and concerts in the New York / Connecticut area. It has been widely praised and enjoyed, with one noted American concert pianist having described it as her personal favourite among all the pianos of her acquaintance. - - - - - Mr. C. W. lives in Connecticut, he is moving and interested in selling this instrument. If you contact me at this website I will relay your msg and he will reach you back.

The following fourteen names have been kindly supplied to me by Tony White for Emilie Simz whose husband had sold Falcones in California.

Tony White 6'1" 1267 Ebony Polish --148 Marlborough St., Apt. G -- Boston MA 02116 (617) 943-5611

Lorelle Nelson 7'4" Ebony Satin --4125 Tomsik -- Las Vegas NV 89103 (702) 645-1027

Sandra Kurtzig 7'4" Ebony Satin -- 96 Ridgeview Dr. Atherton CA 94025 (415) 854-0122

Esther Kim 7'4" 1188 Ebony Satin Ivory/Ebony -- 6614 E. Pinnacle Pointe -- Orange CA 92869 (714) 771-3613

Doris Graf 7'4" Ebony Satin Ivory/Ebony -- 858 Mason Rd. -- Vista CA 92084 (760) 726-7780

David Gamble 9'0" 1091 Ebony Satin Ivory/Ebony -- 280 Laurel St. -- Inverness Park CA 94937 (415) 663-8325

California Institute of the Arts (contact: Alan Eder*) 7'4" 1144 Ebony Satin-- 24700 McBean Pkwy. -- Valencia CA 91355 (805) 255-1050

California Institute of the Arts (contact: Alan Eder*) 7'4" 1143 Ebony Satin -- 24700 McBean Pkwy. -- Valencia CA 91355 (805) 255-1050

California Institute of the Arts (contact: Alan Eder*) 9'0" Ebony Polish Ivory/Ebony -- 24700 McBean Pkwy. -- Valencia CA 91355 (805) 255-1050

*Alan Eder P.O. Box 53333 -- Valencia CA 91355 (661) 904-6483

Karis Chodzko 6'1" 1098 Ebony Satin Ivory/Ebony -- 933 Summer Holly Lane -- Encinitas CA 92024 (760) 436-8241

Dorothy Roberts Haubrich 7'4" 1059 Ebony Satin -- P.O. Box 640 -- Springville CA 93265 -- Alternate address for DRH : 31202 Avenue 176 Porterville CA

Roger Richman 9'0" 1084 Ebony Polish Ivory/Ebony 425 E. 3rd St. Tracy CA 95376 (209) 839-9345 (209) 834-1550

sold to Charles Schaffer (now at Westwood Methodist Church, Los Angeles) ---> 1936 Talmadge St. Los Angeles CA 90027 (323) 663-1079

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editor: William Harris
Prof. Em. Middlebury College
www.middlebury.edu/~harris
harris@middlebury.edu