My Piano World
It all depends - it depends on what a piano is to you. If it's an "old Joanna" on which you'd ask your mate to ".....tinkle the ivories........" for a knees-up in the pub, then this site won't bring you much enjoyment. If however,a piano is a symbol of unmitigated beauty, both aesthetical and aural, something that is seen as worth every penny of £100,000, on which the world's finest musicians would play classical and jazz music, then stick around; this is for you. You'll feel at home here.
Classical pianism is a unique 'industry' where only the very best become famous. It has a limited market, much more constrained than pop music because it is only fully appreciated by a tiny percentage of the population. There are more pianists in the world than this 'market' demands unfortunately.
Question: What do a world class concert pianist playing Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto at the BBC Proms and a schoolteacher who plays nursery rhymes for 4 year old children to sing to, have in common?
Answer: They can both say that they play the piano, and at that point, there is nothing to tell them apart.
I've got mixed views about these. On the plus side, they bring us a rare opportunity to enjoy piano performances, but on the not so plus, I think the standard of performance can be undermined by the nervousness and the competitive element of the performance. Much better if a pianist can simply come along and play; no judges, no jury, just the audience.
Pianos come and go, a phenomenon often dictated by the economic status of a nation. Britain no longer manufactures a piano, now the last bastion of the British piano, Kemble, has been swallowed up by Yamaha, as has the Austrian masterpiece, Bosendorfer. China now produces more pianos (and pianists for that matter) than any other nation (the cheapest upright sells for about 800 quid)- the world's largest manufacturer is in China. More on this in the Pianos page.
There are about 7 or 8 piano manufacturers, whose details will eventually appear on this site, who each claim to be the manufacturers of the world's finest or best piano. Clearly, they can't all be right. One has to consider which piano dominates the concert venues all around the world, and which piano the world's greatest pianists prefer to play on. By a huge margin, the Steinway Model D stands out from the rest; some of the rest being Hamlin & Mason, Bosendorfer, Stewart & Sons, Bluthner, Fazioli, Bechstein, Steingroeber & Zohn etc. etc.
There are many pianists of varying grades around the world. Some never reach fame and fortune, others are saturated in it. It's likely that the Chinese virtuoso, Lang Lang is more popular among the young people of his nation, than the Beatles or any other pop/rock musicians were in the west. It's believed that he is responsible for about 40 million children taking up piano playing in China. They all want to be Lang Lang.