Thoughts on the Yamaha AvantGrand

I’ve been involved in a series of performances using the Yamaha N3 AvantGrand.  The AvantGrand series are hybrid pianos in that the keyboard, action and pedal work is all identical to that found on an acoustic piano. But the tone generation uses large digital samples of a high quality grand piano projected by built-in amplification and speakers, rather than a soundboard and strings.

The goal is to get as close as one can to the touch and tone of a regular piano without the need for tuning or voicing.  In addition to a real grand piano action, the N3  also provides digital communication connections and comes in a smaller (460 lbs) though not always more easily moved package. While smaller than a grand piano, it is still a large, heavy instrument and should not be mistaken for a Clavinova or similar home style digital piano.  Yamaha put a great deal of effort developing the amplifier and speaker system to accurately project the sound of a grand piano. This includes speakers facing up as well as down and the use of the case as part of the tone generating system. […]

Maybe the Times are a-changing…

Frederic Chiu played the new Yamaha CFX concert grand in a well received recital at the Metropolitian Museum of Art in New York. The extremely positive review in the New York Times also featured something that has been very rare in the past, a photo that included the name of a non-New York based […]

Gabriela Montero in Vienna

The word from Vienna is that my pal Gabriela Montero (yes, she played at the inauguration) just had a big success in Vienna, playing Brahms 1 on a Bosendorfer 290 with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Gabby is the real deal and if you don’t know of her, you should.  Sublime musical intelligence, warm personality, beautiful, huge […]

Newport Music Festival – Greatest Music Festival in the world

I’m a huge fan of the festival, having first gone in 1980. It’s the classical music festival, held inside the mansions in Newport RI. It is a treasure of the music world due to it’s wonderful, unique programming and the supremely high level of the playing and players. Of course, it’s mostly due to Dr. Dr. Dr. Mark Malkovich, who has run it for something like 30 years.


This year it takes place from July 10-26 and if you can possibly go, you should.

Here is a list of the pianists performing this year:


Musical Nourishment – Chicago

My idea of cultural mecca is the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. It’s has a spectacular old world lobby and is just steps away from the Art Institute and Symphony Hall.
I took advantage of it’s proximity to the latter tonight and attended a performance (under Bernard Haitink) of Webern Im Sommerwind, Mahler Ruckert Lieder […]

Andras Schiff in Japan

I’m a big fan of Schiff. Terrifically thoughtful and sensitive pianist with very clear ideas of what he is looking for. Can’t really argue with that. AND, he stays away from all the big barn burner Romantic warhorses. Thank you…no really, thank you.

Andras and I used to be friendly a while ago (well, about […]

Some really great music making.

If the Shostakovitch doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, then maybe you haven’t heard enough really good orchestras!

Great review

Here is a great review of a recital in Seattle by the violinist Hilary Hahn accompianied by the wonderful Valentina Lisitsa.

“At the piano — a fine mellow-toned Bosendorfer instead of the usual Steinway — Valentina Lisitsa showed great interpretative sympathy and technical skill, not least in the demanding Brahms accompaniments.”

Garrick Ohlsson on YouTube

Garrick is a good friend of Bosendorfer and graciously agreed, at an event at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, to give a sampling from his upcoming all Scriabin recital.

This was music making of the highest order, in the most wonderful, casual, engaging setting you can imagine.

Nice piano!

I’m in Charleston SC right now (really great city!) and just heard Valentina Lisitsa play the Tchaikovsky 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Valentina is a big Bosendorfer fan, and the feeling is mutual. But our bank of concert pianos can’t completely keep up with the vast range of her performances, and we don’t have […]