Why You Need A Fazioli Piano: Factors to Consider
When looking to buy a new piano, most people will immediately think of Steinway and Yamaha. But there is another name worth mentioning and looking into: Fazioli Pianoforti.
The World’s Most Famous Pianos
There’s no doubt that Steinway and Yamaha have world-renowned recognition as top names in piano makers. However, they are far from the only source for high-quality pianos. Fazioli is a name among pianists that evokes quality, and has quickly become a preferred make for piano professionals even on the grand stage. Its hand-made make and impeccable sound has become one the brand’s major claims to fame, along with being showcased at recognized events such as the Chopin Piano Competition.
A New Player on the Market
While it is true that Steinway & Sons and Yamaha Corporation have made a name for themselves in the many years they have been on the market, the year 1981 saw another player enter the game: the Fazioli Pianoforti company.
The craftsmanship that goes into manufacturing a Fazioli piano is unprecedented and, even though it has not been around as long as its competitors, Fazioli is currently the piano brand many pianists and music schools opt for and even switch to.
Why Are Fazioli Pianos Gaining Steam?
Numerous pianists who have played a Fazioli piano say it is the best piano in the world. In the words of Canadian classical pianist Angela Hewitt, “The action is incredibly responsive to every variation in touch, and everything I imagine in my head I can produce with my fingers. Other pianos can be very beautiful but are less interesting because the sound cannot be varied to such an extent as on a Fazioli.”
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons Fazioli pianos are a favorite of so many piano players.
The Fazioli Grand Piano: From Italy, with Love
The Fazioli Factory was, at first, a furniture factory. This small, family business was making furniture in Sacile, a town located about 40 miles north of Venice, Italy, when one of the sons was dreaming about building the best grand pianos in the world.
Paolo Fazioli left home to study: He received a mechanical engineering degree from Sapienza University, a diploma in piano at the G. Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, and a master’s degree in music composition at the Academy of St. Cecilia. Engineer and pianist Paolo Fazioli then returned home, started working in the furniture factory together with his brothers, and, in 1979, started designing the prototype for a baby grand piano.
The piano factory operated from inside the furniture plant at first. Then, in 1998, the Fazioli company acquired a 150,000 sq. ft. area in the plant’s immediate vicinity, and started building a new factory that would only be used to manufacture pianos.
The Fazioli company’s new facility includes an acoustic research laboratory and even a concert hall in which every new piano they make is tested before being sold. The most recent annex that was built in the factory is the Fazioli Concert Hall. It was inaugurated by concert pianist Aldo Ciccolini, who played the F278 concert grand piano, which is on permanent display in the hall.
The concert hall is suitable for instrument testing, concerts, and recording. It is equipped with variable acoustic equipment of the highest quality: All this comes in handy, especially because Paolo Fazioli insists that no piano leaves his factory until he plays it himself and deems it perfect.
Made from the Finest Materials
The town of Sacile, where the Fazioli pianos are manufactured, is situated in the Province of Pordenone. The craft of woodworking has a long and illustrious history in this region, and this has made a significant impact on the materials Paolo Fazioli chose for his pianos.
The soundboard of Fazioli pianos is made of red spruce (also known as resonant spruce), which is harvested from the Val di Fiemme region in the Italian Alps. This happens to be the same place Stradivarius sources wood for their instruments.
Before being used in one of the concert grand pianos, each piece of wood is tested individually for resonance, and much of it ends up being discarded because it is not of the best quality. Piano soundboards are considered the heart of the piano, which is why Fazioli has devoted a considerable amount of its research to soundboard optimization, as well as patenting novel techniques for its production.
The bridges in the Fazioli pianos are manufactured from a combination of hard rock maple, hornbeam, and hard boxwood; this combination of different types of wood has been thoroughly tested in the research laboratory before being chosen for the bridges.
Commonly, a piano’s hinges are made of brass or nickel. However, all the Fazioli pianos come with 24-carat gold-plated hinges and visible accessories. This will keep the brass from oxidizing, ensuring the surfaces remain immaculate and undamaged for a long period.
Fazioli pianos have cast iron frames: These are in charge of absorbing the compression caused by the strings’ tension. After the sand-casting process, different parts of the frame will take more or less time to cool down, depending on their thickness. During this time, the frames maintain internal tensions, which can affect the quality of the sound the piano is producing straight away. The cast-iron frame should be permitted to rest for at least the first six to eight months of its life before being utilized, to guarantee that these tensions are dispersed.
The rims of Fazioli pianos are manufactured with sophisticated presses that glue a 6 mm pack of solid, premier Canadian maple wood sheets and African mahogany together. The rim is straight at first, and special clamps are used to shape it around the relative mold.
The 6 mm thickness of the wood makes the bending process more laborious and expensive but, by using this method, fewer lines of glue are present in the rim.
Perfected by Experts
Even though he was a mechanical engineer and pianist himself, Paolo Fazioli has worked alongside many experts from the very beginning.
For his prototype of a baby grand piano, he had a highly specialized team help him develop it. The team consisted of a musician and scholar of acoustic physics (Pietro Righini), a wood technologist (Guglielmo Giordano, founder of the National Institute of Wood at the CNR), a wood specialist, and an expert and passionate craftsman (Lino Tiveron).
Later on, the company would start collaborating with the Zanussi Institute for Research (Zeltron), aiming to improve tonal quality even more. This partnership proved to be successful, as this was when many well-known pianists started playing Faziolis.
Quality Over Quantity
While the company’s competitors make thousands of pianos each year, the Fazioli factory only manufactures less than 150 instruments per year.
All new pianos are tested and perfectly tuned when leaving the factory, and are ready to use as soon as they come out the box. This is not the case for other piano brands, which need to be adjusted by an authorized dealer before they can be used.
In fact, one Fazioli grand piano takes approximately 3 years to make. This goes to show how much attention to detail goes into each instrument.
Who Is the Fazioli Piano For?
Professional pianists and beginners, alike, are drawn to Fazioli pianos because of their unrivaled quality. Aldo Ciccolini, Alfred Brendel, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lazar Berman, Nikita Magaloff, Michel Beroff, Annie Fischer, Louis Lortie, Herbie Hancock, and Angela Hewitt are names most piano music connoisseurs will recognize, and they all play these exquisite Italian pianos.
Even the famous Julliard School, after a long, exclusive collaboration with Steinway & Sons, has recently stepped away from being exclusively Steinway so that they would be able to provide their students with other instruments, specifically Fazioli grands to practice and perform on.
A few other renowned institutions that have placed Fazioli grand pianos on their stages are Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Palace of Arts in Budapest, the Beijing Grand Theatre, the Colburn School, as well as the Paris Conservatory and the Universities of Vienna, Graz, and Salzburg.
A Fazioli Grand Piano for Every Pianist and Every Space
The first piano manufactured by Fazioli Pianoforti was a baby grand—the F183. In the following years, the company designed and produced five other models, all in different sizes. Here are all models currently available:
- F308 Concert Grand: 10.2 ft, F278 – 9.2 ft, F228 – 7.6 ft;
- F278 Concert Grand: 278 cm (9.1 ft.);
- F228 Semi-concert Grand: 228 cm (7.5 ft.);
- F212 Semi-concert Grand: 212 cm (7 ft.);
- F183 Baby Grand: 6.1 ft;
- And F156 Baby Grand: 5.2 ft.
The F308 (Fazioli) concert grand is the longest concert piano on the market, and is suitable for large concert halls and other spacious buildings. It is the perfect model for concert venues or music schools.
However, an F156 baby grand would fit in a smaller recording studio, and even in a house or flat. The same technology and attention to detail go into the smaller models, which means they are still a good choice for professional pianists and beginners, alike.
Where to Buy Fazioli Pianos
If you are searching for a piano store that not only sells Fazioli pianos but also has a showroom where you can play the instrument, look no further. Ellis Piano in Birmingham, Alabama is proud to be the Fazioli Representative for the Southeastis. Visit us in store or shoot us a message online to find out which models are in stock and ready for you to try out!