A unique 21st century evolution of the grand piano

NEW YORK, July 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About July 19, 2022famous pianist by Kirill Gerstein performance at the Verbier Festival, which will be broadcast live on Medici.tv, will mark the public premiere of the Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand Piano.

The new instrument was jointly developed by the master piano maker Chris Maene and the famous architect Rafael Viñoly. The piano’s curved ergonomic keyboard matches the natural sweep of a pianist’s arms rotating from the shoulders and facilitates effortless playing in all registers. The radial layout of the keyboard is extended to the strings which unfurl across a much larger soundboard, increasing the instrument’s capacity for nuance, clarity and power.

Mr. Viñoly is a passionate amateur pianist whose own experience and close friendships with master pianists sharpened his awareness of the biomechanical demands of the instrument and inspired his idea of ​​bending the keyboard. In a 2016 conversation with legendary artists Maestro Daniel Barenboim and Marthe Argérich, he was encouraged to develop the concept. Soon after, Viñoly sought a partnership with Chris Maenewho had previously developed a straight-string grand piano for Maestro Barenboim.

First, the team collaborated with a renowned piano kinematics researcher Renzo Pozzoprofessor at the Department of Medical and Biological Sciences at the University of Udine (Italy), and German pianist and researcher Dr. Henriette Gärtner to determine the ideal keyboard arc. Further technical and aesthetic development has relied on centuries-old traditions of piano building, computer-aided design and acoustic modeling, as well as generous feedback and support from some of the most eminent piano technicians and artists. in the world, especially Emmanuel Hache, Daniel Barenboim, Kirill Gersteinand Stephen Houghamong others.

After six years of development, we are proud to present a grand piano that exceeds our team’s expectations for sound quality, ergonomics, construction and aesthetics.

Kirill Gerstein said:

Classic forms remain dynamic and relevant through change and development. The Maene-Viñoly concert grand piano advances the discourse of what a modern grand piano is while recognizing and utilizing traditions and ideas from the past. Its curved keyboard, designed to follow the natural arc of arm movement, is a starting point for a re-examined layout of the larger soundboard that follows this curvature. Unified design, ergonomics and function give the piano a unique sound signature. This piano is a musical and artistic creation, because art innovates and provokes by relying on the achievements of the past to project itself into the future. I am delighted and honored to give the first public performance on the Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand.

Chris Maene said:

Rafael Viñoly is an exceptional architect with a clear vision and a deep passion for his creations. In the design of the instrument, the visual aspects are a logical extension of the player to meet its acoustic and ergonomic objectives. By seeing it as an integrated whole, it pushed us to question the traditional setup of a grand piano and embrace the consequences of the fundamental idea. The physics of the transmission of the forces applied to the ergonomic keyboard lent itself to a radial arrangement of the straight strings and to our unique know-how. The result is astonishing: from the ideas of Rafael Viñoly a radically new concert grand piano was born, with a unique look and an exquisite sound!

Rafael Vinoly said:

by Chris Maene obvious expertise, sensitivity and commitment to excellence can only come from a lifetime of probing and learning about piano making. But more than that, no other piano maker has the courage to challenge the status quo of a culture and an industry that has seen little innovation on behalf of its most important exponents, the professional artists. Chris has the courage of an artist, because he is one, as well as an accomplished craftsman.

**TO 1 p.m. on July 19, 2022, immediately after the piano debut, a Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand will be presented to the press and the public by MM. Maene, Viñoly and Gerstein at W Verbier, Rue de Médran 70, 1936 Verbier, Switzerland. Light refreshments will be served.



Henk Swinnensenior advisor
Workshop Chris Maene
+32 (0) 484 151 989

Raymond Leecommunication director
Rafael Viñoly Architects
+1 212 924 5060

SOURCE Rafael Viñoly Architects