The Piano Man

Musician, composer and actor Philip Pope presents the remarkable story of Paolo Fazioli, who redesigned the piano and created an instrument to rival Steinway.

In 1978 Venetian Paolo Fazioli turned his back on the family engineering business with a crazy ambition: to design a piano from scratch which would rival the great Steinway Grands.

Remarkably, within three years he had done what no other piano manufacturer had ever done.

He had reinvented a musical instrument and created a different kind of piano.

Although the Fazioli looks like a piano and sounds like a piano, it is virtually a new kind of instrument and contains thousands of innovations.

This feature explores how Fazioli did it, what the impact has been on the world of serious music and just what it is that draws so many pianists and music fans to the sound of these instruments.

Featuring interviews with Paolo Fazioli himself, celebrated concert pianists and Fazioli devotees Nikolai Demidenko and Mark Swartzentruber, Gramophone magazine critic Bryce Morrison and Royal College of Music Professor Ruth Nye, who was immediately moved to tears the first time she heard the unique timbre of a Fazioli.

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Musician, composer and actor Philip Pope presents the remarkable story of Paolo Fazioli, who redesigned the piano and created an instrument to rival Steinway.

In 1978, Venetian Paolo Fazioli turned his back on the family engineering business with a crazy ambition: to design a piano from scratch which would rival the great Steinway Grands. Remarkably, within three years he had done what no other piano manufacturer had ever done. He had reinvented a musical instrument and created a different kind of piano. Although the Fazioli looks like a piano and sounds like a piano, it is virtually a new kind of instrument and contains thousands of innovations.

This feature explores how Fazioli did it, what the impact has been on the world of serious music and just what it is that draws so many pianists and music fans to the sound of these instruments.

Featuring interviews with Paolo Fazioli himself, celebrated concert pianists and Fazioli devotees Nikolai Demidenko and Mark Swartzentruber, Gramophone magazine critic Bryce Morrison and Royal College of Music Professor Ruth Nye, who was immediately moved to tears the first time she heard the unique timbre of a Fazioli.

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Musician, composer and actor Philip Pope presents the remarkable story of Paolo Fazioli, who redesigned the piano and created an instrument to rival Steinway.

In 1978 Venetian Paolo Fazioli turned his back on the family engineering business with a crazy ambition: to design a piano from scratch which would rival the great Steinway Grands.

Remarkably, within three years he had done what no other piano manufacturer had ever done.

He had reinvented a musical instrument and created a different kind of piano.

Although the Fazioli looks like a piano and sounds like a piano, it is virtually a new kind of instrument and contains thousands of innovations.

This feature explores how Fazioli did it, what the impact has been on the world of serious music and just what it is that draws so many pianists and music fans to the sound of these instruments.

Featuring interviews with Paolo Fazioli himself, celebrated concert pianists and Fazioli devotees Nikolai Demidenko and Mark Swartzentruber, Gramophone magazine critic Bryce Morrison and Royal College of Music Professor Ruth Nye, who was immediately moved to tears the first time she heard the unique timbre of a Fazioli.

20180312

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz's job is to prepare Steinway pianos for performances by the world's leading pianists. Ulrich knows many of the great performers and how they like their instruments. It's his role to maintain pianos at the highest level and, when looking after concerts, he's on hand before, during and after the recital to ensure the piano is in the best possible condition for each individual pianist.

Steinway Hall in London houses a stable of eleven thoroughbred concert grand pianos, which get shipped around the UK and Europe for leading pianists, on which they either perform concerts or record CDs. This fleet of Formula 1 keyboards is made up of different instruments which suit the different players as well as a variety of acoustics and repertoire. It's Uli and his team's job to match the right piano to each pianistic occasion and to ensure that the instrument's prepared to the performer's specific wishes.

In this programme, Uli is preparing a piano for a concert by Steven Osborne at Wigmore Hall. And is showing pianist Kenneth Hamilton the current range of pianos available, including an exciting new grand which has just joined the Steinway team.

Producer: Rosie Boulton.

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz's job is to prepare Steinway pianos for performances by the world's leading pianists. Uli knows how each performer wants the piano set up for them and it's his role to be there before, during and after each recital to ensure that the best pianos are in the best shape for the best pianists on the planet.

20180312

Behind the scenes with Ulrich Gerhartz, piano technician to the world's best pianists.

2018031220180429 (R4)

Behind the scenes with Ulrich Gerhartz, piano technician to the world's best pianists.

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz's job is to prepare Steinway pianos for performances by the world's leading pianists. Ulrich knows many of the great performers and how they like their instruments. It's his role to maintain pianos at the highest level and, when looking after concerts, he's on hand before, during and after the recital to ensure the piano is in the best possible condition for each individual pianist.

Steinway Hall in London houses a stable of eleven thoroughbred concert grand pianos, which get shipped around the UK and Europe for leading pianists, on which they either perform concerts or record CDs. This fleet of Formula 1 keyboards is made up of different instruments which suit the different players as well as a variety of acoustics and repertoire. It's Uli and his team's job to match the right piano to each pianistic occasion and to ensure that the instrument's prepared to the performer's specific wishes.

In this programme, Uli is preparing a piano for a concert by Steven Osborne at Wigmore Hall. And is showing pianist Kenneth Hamilton the current range of pianos available, including an exciting new grand which has just joined the Steinway team.

Producer: Rosie Boulton.

20180312

Behind the scenes with Ulrich Gerhartz, piano technician to the world's best pianists.

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz's job is to prepare Steinway pianos for performances by the world's leading pianists. Ulrich knows many of the great performers and how they like their instruments. It's his role to maintain pianos at the highest level and, when looking after concerts, he's on hand before, during and after the recital to ensure the piano is in the best possible condition for each individual pianist.

Steinway Hall in London houses a stable of eleven thoroughbred concert grand pianos, which get shipped around the UK and Europe for leading pianists, on which they either perform concerts or record CDs. This fleet of Formula 1 keyboards is made up of different instruments which suit the different players as well as a variety of acoustics and repertoire. It's Uli and his team's job to match the right piano to each pianistic occasion and to ensure that the instrument's prepared to the performer's specific wishes.

In this programme, Uli is preparing a piano for a concert by Steven Osborne at Wigmore Hall. And is showing pianist Kenneth Hamilton the current range of pianos available, including an exciting new grand which has just joined the Steinway team.

Producer: Rosie Boulton.

2018031220180429 (R4)

Behind the scenes with Ulrich Gerhartz, piano technician to the world's best pianists.

Piano technician Ulrich Gerhartz's job is to prepare Steinway pianos for performances by the world's leading pianists. Ulrich knows many of the great performers and how they like their instruments. It's his role to maintain pianos at the highest level and, when looking after concerts, he's on hand before, during and after the recital to ensure the piano is in the best possible condition for each individual pianist.

Steinway Hall in London houses a stable of eleven thoroughbred concert grand pianos, which get shipped around the UK and Europe for leading pianists, on which they either perform concerts or record CDs. This fleet of Formula 1 keyboards is made up of different instruments which suit the different players as well as a variety of acoustics and repertoire. It's Uli and his team's job to match the right piano to each pianistic occasion and to ensure that the instrument's prepared to the performer's specific wishes.

In this programme, Uli is preparing a piano for a concert by Steven Osborne at Wigmore Hall. And is showing pianist Kenneth Hamilton the current range of pianos available, including an exciting new grand which has just joined the Steinway team.

Producer: Rosie Boulton.