Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano Stuns At Juanita Orlando Memorial Piano Fund Benefit Concert

5/23/2011 [Pianos & Keyboards]

World-renowned pianist Yevgeny Sudbin drew rave reviews performing on the Juanita Orlando Memorial Piano.

Photo Credit: Richard Alloy

APTOS, Calif. — World-renowned pianist Yevgeny Sudbin presented the inaugural concert of the Juanita Orlando Memorial Concert Grand Piano on April 23 at the Crocker Theater, Cabrillo College Visual and Performing Arts Complex in Aptos, California. Part of the Spring 2011 Distinguished Artists Concert & Lecture Series, the performance was a gala benefit for the Juanita Orlando Memorial Piano Fund, which has helped bring the first Yamaha CFX concert grand piano west of the Mississippi River.

"Our audience was comprised of sophisticated concert goers who were stunned at the beauty of tone of the Yamaha CFX," said Orlando. "Yevgeny was in top form and many in attendance remarked that it was among the best concerts they had ever heard."

Sudbin performed works by Chopin, Shostakovich, Liszt and Ravel. The concert was presented in part by the Yamaha Peninsula Music Center and the Yamaha Corporation of America. This represents the second acquisition of a handcrafted Yamaha CFX concert grand piano in the United States. Dr. Orlando procured the piano in honor of his mother, Juanita Orlando, who passed away in July 2011 at the age of 98. The piano's official designation is the Juanita Orlando Memorial Concert Grand Piano.

"The CFX truly is a magnificent instrument. It is the most responsive piano I have ever played and it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. In my estimation, it is the Rolls Royce of concert grand pianos," said Dr. Orlando. "This remarkable piano is a tribute to my mother that is commensurate with who she truly was. It will significantly enhance the cultural life of the Monterey Bay Area and has already attracted some of the world's greatest pianists, like Yevgeny Sudbin, to want to perform in our community."

Added Dr. Orlando, "The combination of the spectacular venue of the Crocker Theatre, the magnificence of this incredible instrument, the CFX, and a performance by one of the world's most promising young pianists as a memorial to a beloved lady made this an historic event that every person in our community would want to see, hear and be a part of."

Dr. Orlando has been a music instructor at Cabrillo College since 1969 and his distinguished career on the concert stage includes performances with the San Jose, Santa Cruz County and Fresno symphonies. He is a founding member of the Johannes Trio and toured California with the Akademos quartet performing the Shostakovich Piano Quintet. In 2010, he performed the Rondo in D Major and the Concerto in D Minor for piano and orchestra by Mozart as soloist with the San Francisco Sinfonietta at Cabrillo College and at Herbst Hall in San Francisco. One of the first recipients of the Gail Rich Award for community service in the arts in Santa Cruz County, he was chosen Best College Teacher and Best Performer in Santa Cruz County by Good Times Weekly.

"We're thrilled that Dr. Orlando selected the CFX to honor the legacy of his mother," said Mark Anderson, Director of Marketing, Yamaha Keyboard Division. "With its outstanding expressiveness and power, the CFX will deliver exceptional performances in her memory to grateful audiences for many years to come."

Born in Loveland, Okla., Juanita Orlando moved to San Jose and opened Dolly's Department Store, with her husband, John. The family moved to Gilroy in the 1950's to raise cattle and cultivate strawberries. They later bought an apple farm in Aromas and the family eventually settled in Aptos after Dr. Orlando took a faculty position at Cabrillo College.

Yevgeny Sudbin has appeared with many of the world's most distinguished orchestras and is in the process of recording the complete cycle of Beethoven's concertos for BIS records. Critics have praised his recordings and performances; according to The Daily Telegraph in London, he is "already hailed as potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century."

In February of 2011, the College of Charleston became the first institution of higher learning in the United States to acquire Yamaha's CFX Concert Grand Piano. Following the recent construction of a five-story addition to the College's School of the Arts, an anonymous donor generously decided to buy the piano for the recital hall.

Introduced in January 2010 in the United States, the nine-foot CFX concert grand is Yamaha's flagship concert grand model. Incorporating the sum total of Yamaha's piano manufacturing expertise and technology, the new model replaces the acclaimed CFIIIS concert grand piano. In addition to drawing on its 108-year heritage of manufacturing the world's finest pianos, the instrument represents 19 years of research and development conducted by Yamaha craftsmen, designers and engineers, to create this extraordinary handcrafted piano. The process culminated with a series of top-secret, in-depth evaluation sessions conducted in New York, Paris and Tokyo with top artists and Yamaha artist services over the last few years.

The CFX has begun to make its mark on concert stages around the world. Several distinguished pianists have won prestigious competitions playing the CFX, including the Choongang Competition (Korea), the Paderewski Competition (Poland), the Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition (Warsaw), the National Chopin Piano Competition (Miami) and the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Japan).

For more information on the new CFX Concert Grand Piano, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com.

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