Alan Merriam

Merriam Music

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have had the unique opportunity of representing most of the world's premium instruments during the past 25 years. At present, my store represents Fazioli, Grotrian, and Shigeru Kawai.

FazioliSpeak to anyone who sells one, performs on one, or has played one, and you'll understand why, in a very short period, Fazioli has become a legend in its own time and has created an almost cult following. It was designed in the late 1970s by Paolo Fazioli, whose goal was to build a piano that sounded unlike any other ever built, and would satisfy the most discerning artists. Technicians love Faziolis for their integrity of workmanship, unique design, and stability; artists appreciate them for their unique palette of tonal color, balance, and great dynamic control. No other piano has more innovative technical designs, uses finer materials, or has better workmanship. It's definitely my favorite instrument, as it is for many others, including some of the world's greatest pianists.

GrotrianWith over 150 years of experience, Grotrian is one of the world's finest piano makers. Unlike some other German manufacturers, Grotrian has resisted the trend to build pianos offshore and instead has committed itself to building, entirely in Germany, a very limited number of the highest-quality pianos. The attention to detail and craftsmanship are evident the moment you begin to play. The Grotrian tone is very refined and sophisticated, immediately appealing, and quite unique. In side-by-side comparisons with other top brands, even inexperienced pianists will be impressed by the bell-like, singing tone, the clarity, and the depth of harmonics produced by a Grotrian. Even to this day, many top European conservatories and concert venues choose Grotrians, which suggests that anyone seriously shopping for a truly world-class instrument should make time to experience one for themselves.

ShigeruKawaiShigeru Kawai has finesse, control, and a very beautiful, clear, and rich tone that is usually heard only from much more expensive pianos. The Kawai action is extremely precise, which provides exceptional control of dynamics and tone. The materials are very fine, the quality control is extremely high, and the scale designs are beautifully balanced and musical. This piano certainly ranks among the finest built in the world today, but is priced to make it arguably the best-value premium instrument available.


FALL 2009 -- page 73

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