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#2555430 - 07/09/16 11:38 AM Steinway article  
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LXXXVIIIdentes Offline
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Another interesting article in the NY Times today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/business/international/steinways-grand-ambitions-in-china.html

Regarding the previous background in China during the Cultural Revolution, if you like reading, you might enjoy the novel "Do Not Say We Have Nothing" by Madeline Thien, which includes a large amount of conservatory classical violin and piano music and composing as part of its motifs.

I will always recall in the 1980s one of my middle-aged students in an English class in Vancouver, originally a math prof from China, now a janitor in Canada, saying to the class, "You do not understand: we had only a piano and a bicycle, but they took them."

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#2555433 - 07/09/16 11:46 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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The article might pair nicely with Robin's latest posting in the Non-Classical Forum.

#2555439 - 07/09/16 12:00 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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Originally Posted by article
There were whispers that the piano had come from far away, in Germany; that it could kill you in an instant if it rolled off the stage; that it had the power to turn even the sloppiest of scales into material primed for Carnegie Hall.

It is a magic piano.


Poetry is rhythm
#2555446 - 07/09/16 12:37 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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The article states

"Du Ruizhe, a 15-year-old piano student[...]grew up revering the Steinway name, [...]but at home, she played on a grand piano made by Kawai, a low-cost Japanese maker."

The video shows her practicing on a Shigeru Kawai, not what I would call a low-cost instrument. Of course, we don't know that the piano in the video is her home instrument.

She was "disqualified" in the competition, without any recognition for her playing because she played for one minute less than her required time. Competitions are tough, and, seemingly, not always about the music. Then again, when you have thousands of entrants for some competitions, you have to make the "rules" extremely tough - I guess!

Regards,


BruceD
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#2555496 - 07/09/16 04:35 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
She was "disqualified" in the competition, without any recognition for her playing because she played for one minute less than her required time.
I've never heard of a rule like this and can't imagine the rationale for it. Anyone ever hear of anything like this? Do other competitions have it?

OTOH unless she was not aware of this rule I can't comprehend why she would choose a program that had a chance of being too short.

#2555498 - 07/09/16 04:41 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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If you are given a requirement of a program lasting 15 to 20 minutes, I can imagine that you would be disqualified if your program lasted 14 minutes.


Semipro Tech
#2555532 - 07/09/16 06:43 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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I'll bet it was long enough in practice, but she rushed during the performance. In my teenage band days, rushing during performance was common, as we were inexperienced and nervous. Sometimes it was a tug of war between the drummer and the bass. Me, on keys, just went along with the flow.

#2555902 - 07/11/16 11:00 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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Could someone post which pieces she is playing in the video? I have heard them before but am going crazy trying to remember what they are. Thanks for your help!

#2555945 - 07/11/16 02:07 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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Quote
When he returned to Hamburg to sell his colleagues on the idea, they laughed.


Why "Hamburg"?
The bosses are in New York.

Confirming what I have heard from many sources that most or all Steinways shipped to China are actually Hamburgs.

Is this wrong?

The piano shown on stage at Ningbo Grand Theater is clearly a Hamburg.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/business/international/steinways-grand-ambitions-in-china.html

If this is so, is it an 'image thing' or is something else at play?

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 07/11/16 02:15 PM.

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#2555981 - 07/11/16 04:53 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: Norbert]  
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Originally Posted by Norbert
Confirming what I have heard from many sources that most or all Steinways shipped to China are actually Hamburgs.

Is this wrong?
Long ago, the 2 factories divided up the world into territories for distribution. It is usually the effort of individuals to bring a NY into a Hamburg territory and vice versa. I don't know if the "bosses" are looking into this arrangement again, but Asia was a territory for Hamburg.


Sam Bennett
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#2555982 - 07/11/16 04:55 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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The NY factory supplies N and S America.

The Hamburg factory supplies the rest of the world.


#2556026 - 07/11/16 08:03 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
The article states

"at home, she played on a grand piano made by Kawai, a low-cost Japanese maker."

In my opinion, calling Kawai a "low cost" maker is inaccurate and does the brand a disservice.

I would classify Kawai as being "more affordable" or even "mid tier" but never "low cost" (which to me implies "cheap" in all senses of that word).

I personally would be very happy to own a Kawai GX grand.


Yamaha C3X
#2556088 - 07/12/16 12:33 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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I left China a couple of weeks ago.

In the 10 years I was there all the Steinways I saw were Hamburgs. I think there are 2 reasons for this:

1. It appears that China is a territory alotted to the Hamburg branch. This would not necessarily rule out a buyer sourcing a NY Steinway should he/she want but.....

2. Most Steinway buyers in China are very much looking for prestige. Price is immaterial. So they would not want a piano that is other than top tier, do they go for Hamburg Steinway, or one of the Bs.

BTW had I won the lottery whilst in China I would have got a Grotrian Steinweg. They are a great favourite of mine, but listening to the locals trying to pronounce the name would have been beyond hilarious.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2556098 - 07/12/16 02:29 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina

BTW had I won the lottery whilst in China I would have got a Grotrian Steinweg. They are a great favourite of mine, but listening to the locals trying to pronounce the name would have been beyond hilarious.


Cruel! :-)


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
#2556170 - 07/12/16 10:37 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I left China a couple of weeks ago.

ot but really? For good??


Poetry is rhythm
#2556256 - 07/12/16 04:23 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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Quote

2. Most Steinway buyers in China are very much looking for prestige. Price is immaterial. So they would not want a piano that is other than top tier, do they go for Hamburg Steinway, or one of the Bs.


Does this mean Chinese buyers are reading the "tier system" before buying?

Norbert confused


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#2556263 - 07/12/16 05:39 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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The article reads too much like Steinway Marketing print to be taken as serious journalism. Yet, the article squarely points out that Steinway is indeed employing it's marketing strategies in China.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2556301 - 07/12/16 09:12 PM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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🎹
Originally Posted by from the article
Steinway dealers have to convince their wealthier clientele that the instruments make good investments...

Good investments? Hmm...


Originally Posted by from the article
In rich coastal cities, real estate scions and technology executives are buying Steinway pianos — some outfitted with diamonds and wood from Africa and India — to complement collections of Porsches and Picassos.

Ooooh... classy!


Originally Posted by from the article
[He] thought back to his days as an intern in China selling English lessons to working-class families. He remembered the time he had sold more than $6,000 worth of lessons to a woman who made only $460 a month.

“That was an achievement,” he said. “It was like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ You have to figure out their motivations and their pressure point.”

Somebody, please hose the funk off me. I feel like I need to disinfected.




I M A G I N A T I O N is more important than knowledge -Albert Einstein
#2556725 - 07/15/16 12:29 AM Re: Steinway article [Re: LXXXVIIIdentes]  
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Just skimmed it, but not at all inspiring.
John Patton of Steinway came to visit our area and invited local techs to hear some developments at the company. His work was actually in Asia, developing Essex and working in the Chinese market, I recall. He said selling selling Steinways was pretty difficult because of high (and asymmetric, I might add) import tariffs. Though, some well connected people managed to avoid the tariffs. The article missed that issue.

Regards-


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)

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