Like many industries, piano retail and manufacturing have had challenges during the 2021/2022 years. Demand remains strong for purchasing pianos but piano makers have faced difficulties supplying product. When Covid struck in 2020, the general public spent a lot of time at home and there seemed to be a collective thought, “I should take up the piano again”. Thus, the sales boomed. But in recent months, several companies have been finding it difficult to fulfill orders. With workplaces scaling back due to precautionary measures during Covid and supply chain problems as well, it has become arduous. Today, the wheels of manufacturing are moving and this seems promising but simultaneously, there is a small mountain of back orders yet be filled. To add insult to injury, shipping containers that transport pianos from one end of the planet to another have all but tripled in cost. This has set about price increases in the last year as well.
2022 has also been a time of regrouping and direction setting for manufacturers and so I thought it seemed like a perfect time to check in and see what’s new. Fazioli Piano just celebrated their 40th anniversary! Congrats to the entire team on this milestone. Established in 1982, Paolo Fazioli embarked on a journey to build high-end pianos in Italy. As part of the celebrations, they released a book entitled “From the Dream to the Sound” that details the pathway of Paolo Fazioli in fulfilling this dream with much success 40 years later. Check out our article entitled “A Few Words With Paolo Fazioli“.
Steinway has re-launched the Crown Jewel collection with a new finish called the DiamondGloss finish. The Crown Jewel collection was first introduced more than 2 decades ago. Historically the Crown Jewel collection has been finished in satin but with the new DiamondGloss finish, the collection has become incredibly eye-catching. This proprietary finish provides a depth of color and sheen that makes the exotic woods even more lustrous. Trendy, more modern veneers are being used and include African Pommele, Amber Wood, East Indian Rosewood, Figured Sycamore, Kewazinga Bubinga, Koa, Indian Apple, Macassar Ebony, Padauk, Santos Rosewood, Tiger Mahogany, Traditional Mahogany, Walnut, and Ziricote. Says the Co-President of Steinway, Gavin English, “The Crown Jewel Collection is one of the most visually stunning group of Steinways to be launched in recent decades. These are show-stopping statement pianos, hand-crafted in our New York factory with the same painstaking attention to detail that Steinway has been known for since 1853. The woods are globally sourced and must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.”
Steinway Amberwood 30A8175
Pearl River is officially launching their prestigious Kayserburg line of pianos. While there have been “teasers” over the last few years at the NAMM show, this year represents the formal unveiling into the US market. Additionally, they’re displaying new models in their Kayserburg piano line, namely the GH160 grand and uprights, KA6X and KX2T. The Kayserburg line represents the pinnacle of manufacturing for Pearl River. These pianos are built separately in the factory combining many hand-crafted elements with state-of-the-art technology under the direction of Stephen Mohler. Kayserburg has also produced a 9′ concert grand, the model KA275. It will debut in September, 2022 touring throughout the USA with Brazilian pianist, Dr. Caio Pagano. Finally, Kayserburg has announced the Etoile Collection of exotic veneers with beautiful results. The word étoile is French for “star” and truly this collection of pianos will be bright stars in the piano industry. Featuring woods such as Camphor, Sandalwood and Phoebe, the look of these veneers are breathtaking!
The Pearl River line of pianos is unveiling a new type of satin finish to their pianos. Historically, fingerprints on any satin piano are difficult to rub out. As you rub them out, the piano becomes shiny which is counterproductive to having a satin piano. These new finishes with Pearl River, however simply wipe off fingerprints with a cloth and retain the satin warmth. New also to the Pearl River line-up is the PR2.0 hammer, a hammer that went from conception to completion under a year, having gone through more than 1,700 prototypes. We should be hearing great things from their upcoming models… literally.
I was told once, “the creation of a grand piano requires the attention to a 1000 details”. Yamaha has released Version 2.0 of their much applauded CFX concert grand. From the outset, it doesn’t appear to be much different visually, but “under the hood” there are a myriad of changes since the original CFX design in 2010. Incorporating the A.R.E process is only one of the major design changes for the 2022 unveiling. After reading the specifications, it is safe to say that the attention to details and refinements will make this piano a game changer. The last dozen years of refinements and design changes with consultation of many artists have led Yamaha to the creation of the new CFX.
Sauter Piano in Germany has been busy working on a piano for next year with European designer, Peter Maly. If you’re not familiar with his work, Peter Maly is considered one of the leading furniture designers in Europe. Previously, Sauter received great praise for their Ambiente grand piano. We look forward to the next year of design musically but also of the collaboration with Peter Maly to create their showstopper grand.
Ravenscroft Pianos has completed of the Ravenscroft Performing Arts Venue. Opening in October 2021, the 30,000 square foot venue provides an intimate experience in the 200 seat auditorium. Listeners will be able to engage with world-class performers in an unparalleled acoustically treated room featuring the renowned Meyer Constellation sound system. In addition, Ravenscroft has also completed their new Ravenscroft Build Studio and released a sample of the 220 model. The time during COVID has been productive for their team!
And finally we end with PETROF Pianos. They have introduced “PETROF Colours”. Now you can choose a custom colour for your piano. Why not custom match a piano to your home decor? Choose a vibrant mint, ocean blue, canary yellow, fire engine red or lavender. The possibilities are limitless. Any colour match is available. Now it’s possible to make your piano truly your own.
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The recovery from Covid has not been easy but it’s exciting to see the forward planning of many of piano companies, utilizing this time to re-group and deliver new models in the future. It will be exciting to see what will be unveiled in the months ahead as well as renew connections again at the trade shows.
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