Yamaha CFIIIS Grand Piano Celebrates 40th Anniversary

BUENA PARK, Calif. — For over 100 years, Yamaha Corporation has reverently created pianos according to the highest standards of exceptional sound quality, precision workmanship and eye-pleasing beauty. In 1953, when Yamaha Corporation was already a recognized leader in the mass production of high quality pianos, an intensive research project was initiated to begin the process of making a grand piano of the highest caliber. Yamaha researchers asked themselves: 'What is a good piano? What are the qualifications for making a good piano?' To answer these questions, they scrupulously gathered and analyzed several hundred thousand pieces of data regarding sound. By 1962, the research for concert grand piano production had advanced to the prototype stage; tremendous hard work and the efforts of many excellent technicians resulted in the successive production of increasingly meritorious grand pianos.

The Yamaha CFIIIS Grand Piano
The Yamaha CFIIIS Grand Piano
Finally, in 1967, the fruits of the researchers' and technicians' tenacity were unveiled at the Frankfurt Music Messe: the Yamaha Concert Grand CF and the Yamaha Conservatory Grand C3. Subsequent exhibitions were held at music shows in Chicago, New York and Tokyo. The distinctive new Yamaha grand pianos immediately received very high evaluations and praise from celebrated pianists and piano dealers and, before long the CF pianos were frequently used for international musical festivals and concerts.

Today, just four short decades later, Yamaha's exquisite CFIIIS nine-foot Concert Collection Grand Piano is the gold standard of concert instruments. Favored by prominent artists, concert halls, music festivals and educational institutions worldwide, it is also the piano of choice at many prestigious piano competitions, such as the International Chopin Competition and the Minnesota International Piano e-Competition. Yamaha artists, from longtime enthusiasts such as Frederic Chiu to newcomer Adam Marks, sing its praises.

"The Yamaha CFIIIS is just a beautifully crafted instrument," says Marks. "As pianists, we use a piano like a microphone to communicate with the audience. The CFIIIS perfectly conveys what I imagine in my head and responds. It gives voice to my ideas."

Chiu first began playing Yamaha pianos in Paris in 1988, and was among a select group of young artists invited to regularly play new CF models and offer feedback to technicians in Japan. "I feel I had some direct input into the development of the CFIIIS and, to this day, Yamaha's continual attitude toward striving for perfection is one thing I really appreciate," says Chiu. "I'm very happy with the CFIIIS and I've played a number of them. I like the purity of sound and the absolute regularity of both sound and mechanical action. For me, it's very much like chemistry. The right formula has to be the right combination of sounds and colors. In the CFIIIS, the blend is very precise and the ingredients are very pure."

Mark Malkovich, general manager of the Newport Music Festival says, "It's an awesome fact that Yamaha's superlative CFIIIS grand piano's 40th anniversary coincides with the Newport Music Festival's equally impressive 40th anniversary. Even more rewarding is the knowledge that for half of that time, 20 years, Yamaha has been the Festival's exclusive piano. Throughout our many fruitful years together, the Yamaha CFIIIS has been instrumental in launching the careers of many of today's most well known artists. Each of these pianists loved the CFIIIS as well as the superb Yamaha technicians who serviced them. These debuts were made even more memorable by the confidence given them by the CFIIIS," he continues. "The CFIIIS is well known for its bel canto treble and its thundering bass. When first introduced, it immediately established itself as one of the world's outstanding pianos and, 40 years later, the CFIIIS remains on top with artists, management and audiences alike."

Ed Hendricks, Hendricks Keyboards in Downers Grove, IL, cites Yamaha's commitment to outstanding workmanship as key to the continuing success of the CFIIIS. "I've been a Yamaha dealer for 33 years, and the line has always been of superb quality. All the pianos arrive in our showroom in beautiful condition, and the newest CFIIIS is a fabulous piano. There's nothing really close to it. Yamaha workmanship is just unobtainable anywhere else," says Hendricks. "Each workman has integrity about what he does each day. Yamaha really goes for quality."

Longtime Yamaha retailer, Ray Totaro of Boston Organ & Piano, was another 'early adopter'. "We were selling Yamaha before it was well known in the USA; now, everybody knows it's a phenomenal instrument and a great value. In the late 60s, when the CF first arrived, you knew it was going to be an amazing product and that soon everyone would want it. We were happy to be part of the growth process. Berklee College of Music now utilizes over 300 Yamaha pianos; Boston Conservatory, over 100," he continues. "Around here, Yamaha is what people ask for. The better a person plays, the more they like the CFIIIS. They make their judgment based on the quality of the instrument, and that's a testimony to the quality of the workmanship."

The Internet and the introduction of the Disklavier only added to the prestige and awe engendered by the Yamaha CFIIIS, particularly at the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition and in numerous demonstrations of the Disklavier Piano's Remote Lesson capabilities.

"Several years ago, the Yamaha Disklavier CFIIIS traveled the country 'performing' Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with local symphony orchestras," says Jo Beth Dellinger, Artist Pianos, Syracuse NY. "This project was part of the 'Gershwin plays Gershwin' project. I recall quite vividly how clear and sweet the piano sounded with the Syracuse Symphony orchestra, and how proud I was to represent such a remarkable instrument performing such a remarkable feat. The CFIIIS travels to chamber festivals, symphony concerts, and recitals all over upstate New York, and accolades for the piano are consistent: great touch, beautiful sound and a joy to play."

Over the last 40 years, there have been many refinements that have enhanced the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano's cachet and elevated this revered handcrafted instrument to an even higher "gold standard" of excellence.

For more information on the CFIIIS concert grand piano, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Piano Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714)522-9011; or e-mail infostation@yamaha.com.