Futuristic Concert Grand Set For Grand Debut

by Mat Dirjish

A unique and innovative 21st Century evolution of the concert grand piano, the Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand Piano debuts in concert for the first time under the fingers of celebrated pianist Kirill Gerstein at the Verbier Festival. The magnificent instrument is the invention of renowned architect Rafael Viñoly and master piano maker Chris Maene.

The piano’s curved ergonomic keyboard matches the natural sweep of a pianist’s arms rotating from the shoulders and facilitates playing across all registers. Its radial arrangement extends to the strings that fan out over a much larger soundboard to augment the capacity for nuance, clarity, and power.

The Maene-Viñoly  duo collaborated with piano kinematics researcher Renzo Pozzo, professor 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 keyboard’s arc. Additional technical and aesthetic developments include traditional piano building techniques, computer-aided design, acoustic modeling, and feedback and support from prominent piano technicians and artists including Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Kirill Gerstein, and Stephen Hough.

Kirill Gerstein said, “Classical forms remain vibrant and relevant through change and development. The Maene-Viñoly concert grand advances the discourse of what a modern grand piano is while acknowledging and utilizing the traditions and ideas of the past. Its curved keyboard, designed to follow the natural arc of the arm’s movement, is a starting point for a re-examined layout of the larger soundboard that follows along this curvature. The unified design, ergonomics, and function give the piano a unique sonic signature. This piano is a musical and artistic creation, as art innovates and provokes by building on the achievements of the past to look into the future. I am thrilled and honored to give the first public performance on the Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand.”

Medici.tv will broadcast the debut live, July 19, 2022 at 1 pm. Following the piano’s debut, Messrs. Maene, Viñoly, and Gerstein will present a Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand to the press and the public at the W Verbier, Rue de Médran 70, 1936 Verbier, Switzerland. To watch the premiere performance, visit Medici TV.

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