Why 10’ 2”?
Why does a solo piano recital organization need a Concert Grand Piano that is over nine feet in length? Because that size is the industry standard around the world for solo piano recitals by the most important professional concert pianists. Regardless of the brand, the largest piano made by any high-end piano maker is usually their best piano and it is made with the highest quality materials. Smaller size pianos are built with compromises for space and cost. They exist for use in private homes, apartments, schools, and practice rooms, not Concert Halls. No matter what size venue, the piano of choice for a professional recital is always an instrument of 9 feet in length, or more.
Davide has been one of my best friends since I first met him in a music store in 1979. He is now one of the top piano technicians in Italy. His first two professional concert tunings - at the age of 18 - were for concerts by classical pianist Nikita Magaloff and jazz pianist Bill Evans, two legends of the 20th century. When I went to Perugia to attend the famous Umbria Jazz Festival, where Davide had brought a Fazioli F278 and F308 for the first time, he was dying to show me his newly acquired Fazioli pianos. “This piano is made in Italy and I want you to try it!” Italians had stayed away from producing pianos for more than two centuries after they were invented by Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori in the early 1700s. In 19th century, the piano market was dominated by big companies like Erard, Pleyel, Steinway, Bechstein, and Bösendorfer, so I was very skeptical about an Italian maker.
“Italian piano?” I said. “Nah, can’t be any good. How can it possibly compare to a Hamburg Steinway?” Davide replied, “Go ahead, play it...” I sat down at the piano and the skeptic in me melted away. It was love at first touch! Shortly thereafter, I met Paolo Fazioli, the engineer and pianist founder of Fazioli Pianoforti company. Over the years we have collaborated on a few projects together. When I lived in Italy, Paola Castellano and I were the founders of Studio Art Concert Agency, which organized concerts for world-renowned artists and orchestras such as Boris Berezovsky, Martha Argerich, Andras Schiff, Lang Lang, Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and BBC Symphony Orchestra, among others. In 1998, we organized the last Italian tour for the legendary Austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda, who performed on a Fazioli F278. Paolo Fazioli, being a man of relentless passion for the best, doesn’t let any of his instruments leave the factory without thoroughly examining each one of them and seeing to it that no cost is spared on the material that goes inside the instrument. Paolo carries out continuous technological research to keep Fazioli Pianoforti at the pinnacle of piano engineering. The wood used for a Fazioli Piano soundboard is the same type of wood chosen by Antonio Stradivari for his legendary violins: Abete Rosso della Val di Fiemme (a red spruce from a Dolomite Valley in the Alps). Fazioli’s sound philosophy comes from the Italian “bel canto” tradition, allowing artists to enjoy the singing quality of the instrument as well as to explore a very wide range of colors and dynamics.
Grand Piano Series believes in uncompromising excellence. Thus, our choice of a Fazioli Concert Grand Piano comes as a natural step. The voice of this piano touches our imagination and our soul in the most profound way. It helps us find the best in ourselves and to believe in the power of music.
The Fazioli F308 (10’2”) is the longest length piano produced in the world. We are one of only seven institutions in the United States that own one of these exceptional instruments.
Raniero Tazzi, co-founder of Grand Piano Series and Vice President.