Klaudia Baranowska talks to Executive Directors of Yamaha, apart from Steinway currently the most popular brand of piano...
Yamaha Executive Directors, photo: press materialsKlaudia Baranowska talks to Yamaha Executive Directors: Yoshihiro Doi (Senior Executive Officer for Musical Instruments and Audiovisual Products, Marketing Group and General Manager of Yamaha Corporation), Masato Oike (President of Yamaha Music Group Europe) and Stanisław Zieliński (Head of Yamaha Artist Services Europe in Paris)
Klaudia Baranowska: Apart from Steinway, Yamaha is currently the most popular brand of piano. How long has Yamaha been in business?
Stanisław Zieliński: Torakusu Yamaha founded a small musical instrument repair shop in 1887 in Japan. The first Yamaha concert piano was built in 1902.
Yoshihiro Doi: Many companies make pianos. To most listeners, they look the same. However, they are differences in construction details and sound. Experts can tell the difference.
Masato Oike: Our motto is to create kando, which means inspiration in Japanese. We want to help people find joy and energy in music. It is important for them not only to listen to music, but also to take part in making it.
Why do musicians prize Yamaha pianos?
MO: For their sound, of course.
SZ: Our instruments are popular not only for their sound, but also because of the product quality and the support provided to pianists by company technicians. We have salons throughout the world: in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Paris and London. Performers who travel a lot can always turn to us for help.
How long has the company worked with the Chopin Competition?
SZ: Yamaha pianos were first part of the competition in 1985. This year, we are the official instrument supplier to the Chopin Competition for the sixth time.
How many performers choose Yamaha pianos?
SZ: In 2000, it was 16 per cent of the performers. Five years later, nearly 28 per cent of the participants played our instruments. In 2000, pianists had three brands to choose from, but this year it is four. Of course, we want the largest number of participants playing Yamaha instruments, but the choice of model depends on a pianist's individual needs.This year, we plan to introduce a new concert piano, the CFX. We have worked a long time on it, consulting experts and musicians. It uses a new type of strings, a slightly differently designed resonance chamber and keyboard. Many pianists will certainly notice the difference between this model and older generation instruments.
Which world-famous pianists played or play Yamaha pianos?
SZ: Sviatoslav Richter played only on Yamahas for many years. Glenn Gould in his final recordings also used a Yamaha piano. Currently, musicians who use our pianos include Maria João Pires, Denis Matsuev, Fou Ts'ong, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Jean-Marc Luisada, Hiroko Nakamura, Alex Kobrin, Olga Kern and Piotr Paleczny
Interview by: Klaudia Baranowska, October 2010.
This article comes from the current edition of the "Chopin Express" gazette published for the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and "Gramophone" magazine.
Other articles of interest in "Chopin Express" 05:"Unrequited Love" - Chopin and Schumann