Shigeru Kawai History

The founder of Shigeru Kawai pianos in black and white

Hand-built in Japan using the “methods of origin,” Shigeru Kawai Pianos have been positioned as one of the best pianos in the world. Their complex tone and dynamic expression pour out of each note. Shigeru Kawai was born on July 28, 1922, in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. He entered the piano business as a young man in 1946. Although he was a member of the Kawai family, Shigeru spent his early years learning the piano-building process as a regular worker.

Three years later, Shigeru began learning the art of creating pianos from his father and founder, Koichi Kawai, also known as “Hatsumei Koichi,” meaning Koichi the Inventor. Shigeru listened attentively to Koichi’s every word. His father’s dream burned intensely inside, Shigeru sometimes slept overnight in the factory and even bathed there. Koichi taught Shigeru his innovative method to design and build a complete piano action.

In 2000, Kawai introduced the Shigeru line, and these pianos have become one of the best pianos in the industry. Ellis Piano is proud to carry these magnificent Kawai musical instruments.

Shigeru Kawai: Unparalleled Artistry

Ellis Piano | Making A Bosendorfer | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

Kawai’s elite Master Piano Artisans handcraft each Shigeru Kawai to perfection. For those who pursue the esteemed rank of Master Piano Artisan, their dream amounts to more than simply building pianos. They aspire to build the world’s finest pianos, capable of making Kawai the sound heard around the world. For this reason and for the finest materials put into each piano, every Shigeru crafted has its own characteristics that make each piano special. To learn more about these Master Artisans, click the link below.

Average Shigeru Kawai Piano Price

Shigeru was relentless in his pursuit of making Kawai a household name in the piano world. After almost a century in business, Kawai is the winner of over 50 international awards for excellence, has built numerous Kawai Music Schools across Japan, founded an educational institute to train teachers to staff its schools, as well as established the Kawai Technical Institute. One could argue Kawai has perfected the modern piano design.

With only 300 of these top-of-the-line pianos being made every year, they’re considered one of the more exclusive piano brands in production. As such, you can expect to invest in the upper five-figure range for a Shigeru Kawai, with prices increasing based on model, design, and finish.

Shigeru Kawai Piano Models

(Not all units are in stock. Contact us for pricing, availability, and available finishes.)

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-2 | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-2 5’11” Grand Piano

The SK-2 offers the elegant profile of a classic grand with an unbelievable richness of tone. As the smallest SK piano, this piano is perfect for musicians, teachers, and demanding pianists alike. Don’t be fooled by its small stature—its tonal richness and timeless design make it superior to any other premium piano of its class. Premium features include Millennium III Action, Shiko Seion hammers, and Concert Agraffes.

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-3 | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-3 6’2″ Grand Piano

The SK-3 excels with an extraordinary blend of superb tone and touch that has been admired by professional pianists across the globe. Its rich tone, responsive touch, and exceptional striking power deliver an exceptional playing experience for any skilled pianist. Premium features include Extended Keysticks, Temaki Brass Strings, All-Spruce Beams, and a custom-tapered soundboard that makes for a fantastic instrument.

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-5 | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-5 6’7″ Conservatory Grand Piano

The SK-5 offers a gratifying medley of exhilarating power and physical presence that will grace a range of professional venues from studios to intimate recital spaces. Its solid spruce soundboard and large and small pore hardwood Konsei Katagi rim create the perfect fusion of robust tone, power, and presence. Premium features include Boxwood Bridge Caps, Concert Agraffes, and Millennium III Action, culminating in a well-rounded, lush tone.

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-6 | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-6 7′ Conservatory Grand Piano

The SK-6 is an instrument of profound beauty and strength of character that will captivate both the eyes and ears in any performance setting, whether that be a grand auditorium or a personal studio. Handcrafted by Master Piano Artisans utilizing state-of-the-art digital design tools to optimize construction, this premier piano is a testament to the art and science of the piano-building process.
This beautifully-engineered instrument is made from the finest materials, such as high-quality, traditionally-aged spruce, maple, mahogany, and boxwood, and includes premium features like Kigarashi Soundboards, Shiko Seion Hammers, and Stretcher Over-Lap Integrated Design to create unrivaled expression, response, and magnificent tone.

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-7 | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-7 7’6″ Semi-Concert Grand Piano

The SK-7 is a transcendent work of art that will communicate with remarkable passion, precision, and poetry at the hands of the artist. This semi-concert grand piano is among the top pianos to experience. With resounding brass notes, an incredible range of expression, and brilliant treble, its grandeur is palpable. Made from premium-quality materials, including traditionally-aged woods, hand-wound brass strings, and hand-notched bridges, the SK-7’s sound soars and thunders under your command.

Ellis Piano | Shigeru Kawai SK-EX | Birmingham, AL Piano Store

SK-EX 9′ Concert Grand Piano

Each Shigeru SK-EX Concert Grand Piano is conceived as the next step in the evolving art of the piano. Fewer than twenty are crafted each year. With its magnificent tone and wonderfully responsive touch, the SK-EX is one of the best pianos in the world. Inspired by the work of the founder, Koichi Kawai, it is as divine to the eyes as it is to the ears and is made to perfection with Dual-Pivot Dampers, “Shiko Seion” hammers from New Zealand and Australian wool, Hand-Planed Ribs, and more.

For more information about Shigeru Kawai Pianos pricing and availability, fill out the form below.

To view all that Shigeru Kawai has to offer, visit Shigeru’s website.

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