Archive for February, 2020

What You Can Do With a WNG Action in a Steinway: Dr. Mark Sullivan

Posted on: February 28th, 2020 by WNG

Dr. Mark Sullivan has been teaching in Southern California since 1984 and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he studied under Menahem Presslera. He also has a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music.

“I was playing a piece, Ravel’s Alborada Del Gracioso. The thing that is the hardest in the piece is a couple of passages of extremely fast repeated notes, and I calculated according to Ravel’s tempo marking, it requires the pianist to repeat a note about 14 times a second. Very few pianos—very few pianists too—can do that, but the Wessell, Nickel & Gross action made the [Steinway] B the perfect choice for that.”

Wesell, Nickel & Gross met with Dr. Sullivan at his home in Southern California where he has two pianos that are both equipped with Wessell, Nickel, & Gross Actions—a Steinway Model D Concert Grand and Steinway Model B. Dr. Sullivan’s background in classical piano led him to seek a high-performance action that could achieve the precision and uniformity needed for the rigors of hours of practice, as well as flawless performance on the concert stage. He found this exact combination in the Wessell, Nickel, & Gross Composite Action. With the help of Registered Piano Technician Bruce Stevens, Dr. Sullivan now has both of his pianos equipped with high-performance actions that can handle any virtuosic feat from the practice room to the stage.

Dr. Sullivan, as well as many others, has discovered that although there is a call to remain with traditional wooden actions in the piano industry, this does not always yield the best results. For a piano action that can deliver consistent performance in both touch and feel, as well as uniformity in volume, Wessell, Nickel & Gross is the ideal choice. Our state-of-the-art composite actions can be fitted to almost any piano to deliver high-performance touch and feel that can be uniquely tailored to your preferences and needs.

“Ideally for a pianist, once you’re out on the stage…you should have done enough practicing that you can concentrate on the concept, you can concentrate on the sound, you can concentrate on where the sound is leading to, and the way you touch the keys becomes sort of intuitive…and I think the Wessell, Nickel & Gross action allows that intuitive feeling of transmission from the concept to the sound to be more seamless than any action I’ve used before.

For more information on Dr. Mark Sullivan or Bruce Stevens, please visit Dr. Mark Sullivan’s website here, or Bruce Stevens’ website here.