PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A century-old piano has become a labor of love for a Philadelphia restoration company. Beyond the music the instrument has played, it also comes with a remarkable story.
It’s a painstakingly tedious process with hours of careful disassembly, refining and refurbishing.READ MORE: Fire Crews Rush To Battle 2-Alarm Blaze At New Castle County Apartment Complex
“The emotional value this has for the family is priceless and incalculable,” Philatuner Piano Works owner Tom Rudnitsky said.
But for Rudnitsky, who restores and tunes pianos at his bok workshop in South Philadelphia, restoring this baby grand has taken on a special meaning, and that’s because of the history behind this nearly century-old piano.
“The piano actually belonged first to my great grandmother,” Eric Brauer said.
Brauer’s great grandmother then passed it onto her daughter, who was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1936.READ MORE: 2-Alarm Fire Damages Rowhome In Delaware County
“My grandmother was trained as a concert pianist and she was pretty incredibly talented. It was a matter of life and death. Things in 1936 were bad but certainly not as bad as what was to come. They were not able to take money but they were able to take some possessions,” Brauer said.
For years, the piano sat in the Brauers’ home.
Now downsizing, they decided to have Rudnitsky restore it and bring it to their son, who lives near Washington D.C., so he can teach his daughter how to play.
It will take some time — the keys need refinishing, the soundboard is cracked and the strings buzz. But it’s in good hands and ready for a return to its former glory.
“It’s come full circle. To have that piano, knowing it’s going to be there for however many years and my family will be able to enjoy it, and each time we play it, it’s a testament to the Nazis not being here,” Brauer said.MORE NEWS: Philly Police Identify Suspect, Edward Prince, Wanted In Fatal Hit-And-Run That Dragged 60-Year-Old Feet Nearly 300 Feet
Rudnitsky estimates it will take about one month to restore this piano and then it will be transported to the D.C. suburbs and reunited with the Brauer family.