Fine Arts

Jura Margulis

Jura Margulis, Emily J. McAllister Endowed Professorship in Piano

Department of Music, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

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Margulis Builds Bridge to Past With Sordino Pedal

Jura Margulis has collaborated with German manufacturer Steingraeber & Söhne to return the sordino pedal to the grand piano. He introduced the piano prototype at Musikmesse, the world’s leading fair for music instruments and live music.

Margulis calls the pedal “a bridge to the past.”

“Hayden, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, they were all familiar with the sordino pedal and used it when they composed,” Margulis said. “It is arcing back to the fortepianos of the older times. When you play this augmented instrument, you have the full range of the modern concert grand and you have a second piano under your hands. It’s not just softer; it is different. You can play with an enriched overtone mixture. You can also play articulations that Schubert wrote that you can’t play on the modern grand.

“We don’t play exactly what he wrote in many places in the compositions because it is not doable with the modern concert grand,” he said. “With this pedal, it is.”

Noted pianist Martha Argerich wrote, “The Margulis Sordino Pedal is a very important, interesting and inspiring invention. Sound is the soul of music. The sound of the piano increased in colour and capacity – a desire of every pianist. The MSP may very well be the future of piano construction. Bravo!”