I photographed Tim and Renée Farley seated at their magnificent, 132-year-old restored Steinway for John Barker's Isthmus article, Brilliant musicians play at intimate Farley's House of Pianos. It was a pleasure meeting this gracious and charming couple, who have carved out a unique niche in the local music scene through their commitment to pianos, music and musicians.
The recital series they sponsor at Farley's House of Pianos is what Barker calls "one of Madison's unfairly well-kept musical secrets." He explains how they got started.
Early on, they thought the pianos they refurbished should have a sendoff, "a graduation party," as they put it, by being played before an audience. The idea of giving both instruments and young pianists public exposure became embedded in their operations.This Sunday, May 2, Armenian-born virtuoso Raffi Besalyan plays Gershwin and Rachmaninoff in a benefit for the Madison Symphony Orchestra's outreach programs. There's more information about the recital, the pianist and his program at this web page, along with a link to the pianist's website.
Eleven years ago they moved their business to the west side. They expanded their presentations of gifted young pianists and other musicians. At first, these were talents lacking big-name status, but they were enthusiastically recommended by colleagues. As Renée notes with pride, "Now artists ask to play here."