Player Piano Rolls made by the American Piano Company produced its own expression mechanism and called it The Ampico. The Company chose to introduce their machine to the public through a formal demonstration held at the Hotel Biltmore in New York City in 1916. Leopold Godowsky was the demonstrating pianist. He played certain pieces himself and then let the Ampico alone repeat his work by playing pre-recorded rolls – a performance designed to convince even the most skeptical of the true capabilities of this expression piano in reinterpreting the efforts of the artist!
These expression player-pianos, however, where they remain operational, are historically very significant, as often they are the only means for today’s generation to hear the performances of some of the musical giants from the turn of the century. Today these “reproducing” player-piano performances are being used to produce CD’s to delight a whole new audience of today’s young, who often do not even know what a player-piano is.