Meet the Team

Top row, left to right:

Second row, left to right:


Patrick Cornelius Vida


Patrick C. Vida is a musician from Austria. He was born in Linz on the Danube, studied violin with the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Vienna, and has been a member of the first violins at the State Theater of Lower Bavaria, Germany, for ten years. He also teaches a class of 21 students.

His fascination with the ships of the Olympic-class and Titanic in particular goes back to primary school age, when he first saw the 1979 film SOS Titanic. Afterwards, both the subject itself and two pieces of music featured in the film, ‘Bethena’ and ‘Elite Syncopations’ by Scott Joplin, haunted him (in a positive sense) for decades. At the age of 16 he began to play the piano in addition to the violin, and discovered his love and passion for ragtime and salon music at an early age. When Patrick C. is not active in the orchestra, he cultivates his piano playing and plays in the two salon ensembles ‘Salon Bravour’ and ‘Kepler Quartett’. Both ensembles cultivate the upbeat, light music that was played aboard ships of Olympic and Titanic‘s time. Patrick C. Vida is a member of the German Titanic Association.

In the early summer of 2022, he became aware of a Facebook post which reported the rediscovery and restoration of the piano from the à la carte Restaurant of the RMS Olympic. Initial contact with the ‘Maiwald Piano Gallery’ led him to his first in-person encounter with this historically significant piano in September 2022. Although at the time he thought it would be a one-off visit, the instrument stayed with him; his love for its history led him to Leeds, UK, in 2023 to record on the piano again. To his dismay, none of the major institutions and museums around the world were interested in acquiring and preserving the piano, so he came up with the idea of founding the institution that would acquire the piano and preserve it for future generations.

Personal web site.

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Angelica LoCascio


Human Rights Activist Angelica Harris-LoCascio is a successful author, poet laureate, entrepreneur, advocate, and professional speaker. Angelica was born in New York City; her real name is Angela-Filomena LoCascio. Her love for writing was ignited in William Cullen High School when she used the written word to escape the difficulties she faced at home.

Angelica pursued creative arts at Hunter College, studying history and theatre. With a lifelong passion for medieval history, Angelica is the author of many books. In 2019, she wrote Titanic–The Brothers Peracchio: Two Boys and a Dream, about her uncles Alberto and Sebastiano Peracchio, crew members in the á la carte Restaurant on Olympic and Titanic.

In 2005, Angelica founded the Excalibur Reading Program. This non-profit organization brings the importance of reading, writing, and the arts to all children and organizations dedicated to children with special needs.

Angelica furthered her education at Fordham University’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Lincoln Center. She received the Dean’s List Awards 2020–2021, 2021–2022. She has also been inducted into the Honors Program and received the Alpha Sigma Lambda and Alpha Chi Omicron-Sigma Tau Delta Awards. Angelica graduated in 2023 with her Bachelor of Arts Degree—In Cursu Honorum Magna Cum Laude. She proudly sits on the Board of Directors as a New York Correspondent for the Titanic Society of Atlantic Canada (TSAC) with President Deanna Ryan-Meister and as Descendant Advocate and Vice President of the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse in New York City. She is the Vice President of the RMS Olympic Steinway Piano Association with Patrick C. Vida, president.

Angelica is married to John LoCascio, and they have two grown children: Andrea and John, who is married to Jade.

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Joshua Andersen-Raymer

American Correspondent/
Social Coordinator / Lecturer

Joshua’s path to this adventure started back when, as a child in 1990, he saw Raise The Titanic on television. By the age of five his love of history and Titanic in particular was kindled, and it has burned like a wildfire ever since. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008. In the years since then he has worked at museums from Boston to San Francisco.

Joshua’s connection to Olympic‘s piano started when he introduced Patrick Vida to the Titanic Book Club. As social coordinator for the Book Club he is always looking for Titanic related stories to share with their members, and Patrick’s story was most interesting. Little did he know that that introduction would take on a life of its own, and lead the team to where it is today.

Joshua feels truly honoured to help take part in this act of historical preservation. ‘The RMS Olympic piano needs to be saved,’ he says, ‘so that future generations can both see and hear this connection to both Olympic and Titanic. It is also to honor the memory of the ships bandsmen, “Those Brave Fellows” as well as Mr. Gatti’s restaurant staff and the passengers that listened to the music from this beautiful piano in happier times.’

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Markus Mayr


Markus Mayr is a passionate musician, nature lover and former teacher of music, sport and mathematics. In addition to a deep friendship with the President of the RMS Olympic Steinway Association, he shares a passion for music. This passion extends in particular to salon music, the kind of music-making that was practiced on the great ocean liners of the time.

Essentially, Markus bases his collaboration on two things that inspire him: first, on a trip to England, Markus got to know the Olympic piano personally, and assisted with the recordings. Through the encounter with this piano and the passion of Patrick C., Markus was also able to identify with the love and admiration for the instrument and its historical significance. His second inspiration is to ensure that the piano does not go to waste ‘in a rich man’s parlor’; it is important to him that the instrument is preserved for the public.

Since Markus was so impressed by the musicians on the ship when the Cameron Titanic film was released many years ago, they have become the ultimate role model. The colleagues who perished in 1912 were prepared to sacrifice their own lives for the last note. These thoughts led Markus to an ultimate sense of purpose, namely that the most important thing about music is to bring joy to people.

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J. Kent Layton

Historian / Author /
Technical Advisor

J. Kent Layton has been fascinated with Titanic since childhood, when he first devoured his father’s copy of A Night to Remember, and watched such films as “S.O.S. Titanic” and “Raise the Titanic”. His fascination led him to spend his younger years researching Titanic and her sisters, Olympic and Britannic, as well as other famous liners. He decided to become a professional maritime historian and author as a teenager, and published his first book some years later in 2005. In 2012, he proudly co-authored “On a Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic” with Tad Fitch and Bill Wormstedt. They followed their success with other works such as “Recreating Titanic and Her Sisters: A Visual History” and “Titanic: Solving the Mysteries”. He has also authored or co-authored a host of other critically-acclaimed maritime works, including “The Unseen Mauretania”, “The Unseen Aquitania”, “Transatlantic Liners”, and the forthcoming two-volume books “Lusitania: An Illustrated Biography”.

When he isn’t writing and researching the liners, he works in his family’s small business, Accutone Piano Service. Here he works to protect and preserve pianos old and new through careful maintenance, tunings, restoration, and pneumatic and digital player installations and upgrades. His dual experience in both fields — as a maritime historian and a piano technician — certainly makes for a unique contribution to the Board.

A long collaborator with historian and film producer Tom Lynskey, Kent has worked to bring his book projects to life through collaboration with HFX Studios, including their annual real-time sinking broadcasts which memorialise the disaster and those it affected, helping to bring Titanic and Lusitania back to life and introduce their history to a whole new generation of enthusiasts. He lives in Central New York with his wife, Tessa.

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Florian Giesa


Florian Andreas Giesa is a very special cellist who has earned several master’s degrees on his instrument. The historical significance of this undertaking and this particular piano is based, among other things, on his specialization in early music. Of course, ‘our’ piano is not an instrument on which baroque music is played, but by pianistic standards it is an antique instrument that is irrevocably linked to a historical event, and can also look back on its own illustrious history.

In addition to his work as a musician, Florian works as an editor, and has therefore agreed to serve the association as secretary in a practical sense. However, it is much more important to him to preserve this instrument for future generations. He also plays with Patrick C. and Markus in the salon ensemble ‘Kepler Quartet’. This salon ensemble has been performing and expanding their repertoire of upbeat, light music for a decade, working in the style and instrumentation that was played on the transatlantic liners of Olympic and Titanic‘s era. It is therefore a natural confluence of personal expertise, practical music-making, and support for the cause of a close friend that has allowed Florian to share the in mission of preserving the Olympic piano for the public.

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Christopher A. Mulholland

Maritime Artist /
Historian /
Technical Advisor

Chris has been fascinated with Ocean Liners for nearly two decades. His areas of expertise are the Olympic-class ships and the Lusitania-class ships. At a young age, he learned about the 1929 voyage of his uncle, William Obelcz, to America aboard RMS Aquitania. He also learned that another uncle, John Bogner, had served on the RMS Queen Mary during World War II. Not long after learning about his ancestors, Chris saw the James Cameron film Titanic for the first time and ‘let it in.’

Not long after beginning his research, Chris realized he had a very personal connection with Titanic, as he was born on the precise date that the liner’s keel was laid down in Belfast. His first book was Exploring the Titanic by Robert Ballard. While reading this book, he discovered the extraordinary paintings by Ken Marschall. Chris thought it would be nice to contribute to Titanic’s story in a similar way, and has spent nearly 20 years researching the liners and teaching himself how to draw. His efforts lead him to do something that, to the best of his knowledge, has not been done in over a century: he drew the deck plans and profile of the proposed Olympic and Titanic … by hand. In addition to his current work preserving Olympic’s piano, he is currently engaged in a project regarding Lusitania.

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Hannes Valtiner

Deputy Treasurer

Hannes’ main profession is a media technician. He is primarily responsible for the production of the current Olympic piano videos. With his company RP Media, he supports creative artists and projects in many countries. Patrick C. Vida likes to say that his own online presence, and the videos of his students and other concerts, would be completely unthinkable without Hannes.

Hannes’ passion, however, is music. In addition to his friendship with the President, with whom he also takes lessons, his great love is the viola and chamber music. For this reason, Hannes plays in many chamber orchestras. In addition to music in small ensembles, he particularly appreciates salon music and the music of the 1920s and 1930s. He is also enthusiastic about the historical significance of the Olympic piano, and therefore supports the RMS Olympic Steinway Association not only as deputy treasurer, but also as a competent service technician and consultant with a highly trained sense of music and historical authenticity.

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Thomas Lynskey

Honorary Member & Advisor to the Board

Tom Lynskey is a film producer, software designer, and amateur archaeologist, as well as a Fellow in the Explorers Club. He has dedicated his career to preserving history. Through his company, HFX Studios, he has worked to identify stories from history that are often forgotten, lost, or misunderstood, and then tell them in a manner that both educates the viewer and honors the subject matter.

Tom’s work on his primary YouTube channel ‘Part-Time Explorer’ alone has been viewed by over 40,000,000 people worldwide; his videos across all platforms have been seen by over 200,000,000. His work focuses on maritime history and exploration, with notable projects such as feature documentaries on the wreck of the White Star liner Atlantic, the Collins liner Arctic, and the ghost ship Mary Celeste. He has also been working to produce Virtual Museum Experiences of some of the most famous ships from history including Titanic, Britannic, and Lusitania.

Throughout the course of his career, Tom has worked in partnership with over a dozen maritime museums and preservation groups to help tell these stories. The goal is to protect the legacies of these topics, preserving them from fading from memory altogether.

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