The Story

Crystal Grand Piano Designed by Peter A. Tol

When I was a young boy (I think 12 years old), I  walked through Amsterdam with my mother and saw in the window of a famous piano store a semi acrylic Grand Piano of the brand: Schimmel. With my nose pushing against the window I thought: “Whoa!! when I am an adult I will have such a Grand Piano in my house”.
In 1990 my daughter Cécile was born. She came 3 months to early, has major brain damage, autistic and nearly blind, but soon she proved to be very musical. When she was 2 or 3 years old she was still not able to do something normal like to sit by herself. Always when there was music on the radio, she sang along to everything, even to songs without words – pure sounds. This was very unusual and exciting for me. One time I put her on a chair near me behind the piano and fasten her so she could not fall down on the floor. With her fingers in my hand I taught her how to play the piano. Soon after this we played piano pieces written for 4 hands. I first played her part one or two times by myself and she listened, then she played this part by herself without looking at the keys and without faults.  This was the only really thing she was able to do but it was marvelous and emotional! When she was 5 years old, in 1995 I brought her to an institution to live there with a group of children with similar problems. Now she is 25 years old and she is still living there.After all these experiences, my energy and thoughts of the past came together in my soul, body and mind. I started to build a complete transparent Grand Piano and gave this instrument the name: Cécile. This instrument symbolized for me: “Glasses” for my daughter Cécile to her world of music. In 1996 the first fully transparent Crystal Grand Piano on earth named Cécile was born!


The Acrylic material is very beautiful and modern. We can keep it completely clean or put personal and other items, like feathers into it as a custom design. The characteristics of the sound of my Grand Pianos are more than marvelous. The dynamics of sound are much better than wood. Wood absorbs sound and will change the sound. This is the sound we all know, but to me it’s a sound out of a wooden box, not clear and dynamic enough like acrylic.
For my grand pianos, lighting is a new possibility for the future. I think in the near future composers will write their piano music with an extra dimension as light colors. The public can hear and see something new together, so this combination will be a more complete experience. As for me, the future is everything I find on my way to success becomes a knowledgeable experience!
Peter A. Tol