A special piano is arriving just in time for the Okanagan Symphony Society’s presentation of one of the world’s top concert pianists.
French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie is coming to the Okanagan April 16 and is performing on his piano of choice for the show, a Fazioli, which is being delivered to Kelowna from a piano store in Vancouver just for the concert.
Although Fazioli pianos are the “new kid on the block” in the world of piano making, they are now considered to be the “crème-de-la-crème” of pianos, said Showcase Pianos store owner Manuel Bernaschek.
The piano being brought from Vancouver is a seven-foot Fazioli F212 and has a list price of $169,999—around double the price of the corresponding Steinway Model B, which happens to be the piano that is getting rolled out of the way at the Mary Irwin Theatre for the arrival of the Fazioli piano.
“Steinway is like the Rolex of the piano world,” said Bernaschek. “It’s the brand that the general public thinks is the best available. But for a true connoisseur, only the Fazioli will do. It represents the finest the industry has accomplished, and it is supported by people who believe in change and innovation. No other piano in the world has such an incredible dynamic range, an action so smooth, and a sound full of light and colour.”
The piano will be in good hands as Lortie continues to perform in some of great concert halls around the world.
The Order of Canada and Order of Quebec recipient, who has more than 30 recordings with the Chandos Records label, is known for his interpretations of Ravel, Chopin and Beethoven.
He has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.
In 2013-14, he is touring Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and to the BBC Proms in London. He will also perform with orchestras in St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, Vancouver, Detroit, the Suisse Romande, Nuremberg, BBC Philharmonic, Dresden and Hamburg, and will play/conduct a Mozart program for the Toronto Symphony and recitals in the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia, Warsaw, Montreal, Bournemouth, the Casals Festival, the Sydney Opera House, the National Arts Centre, Duke University and in Milan.
A recent survey by CBC Music showed Lortie to be one of the top three most loved Canadian concert pianists in the world. The other two that make up that list include Angela Hewitt and Marc-André Hamelin, who have joined Lortie in making the change to playing Fazioli pianos.
Lortie performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in mid-March, and it was a rare opportunity for concert-goers to hear a Fazioli concert grand piano.
Fazioli Pianoforti, just 60 kilometres north of Venice, makes only 100 pianos a year. For any person that likes to collect special and unique items, this particular Fazioli grand piano is for sale and could be signed by Lortie and delivered the very next day to be a centre-piece in someone’s home.
Bernaschek confirms that a special concession will be made on the price since the piano has been showcased in the store.
Lortie’s performance at the Mary Irwin Theatre in Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts takes place Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 250-717-5304 or online at www.selectyourtickets.com.
More information on Lortie is available at www.louislortie.com.