The evening of March 2nd 2017 saw a world first and true experiment at the Chamber Music Hall of the world-famous Berlin Philharmonie. The hybrid technology was not the only innovation during this concert premiere but also the concept of this concert.
For the first time, a classical symphony concert was conducted with an innovative hybrid piano, the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid from CASIO. Right in the middle of the first part of the concert with the New Prussian Orchestra and pianist Haruka Kuroiwa, CASIO's hybrid piano played in direct comparison to a traditional concert grand piano.
First, the third part of Mozart's piano concert Number 23 was played on a C. Bechstein grand, until conductor Thomas Hennig interrupted the concert. “Now we have a world's first showing”, said Hennig and traded places with pianist Haruka Kuroiwa. Hennig at the grand piano and Kuroiwa on the hybrid piano played Mozart's third set of his Piano Concert Number 23, playing each other's parts as a musical dialogue between the traditional and modern piano. A thrilling experiment not only for the spectators but also for the musicians, which was rewarded with big applause.
“It was an amazing experience and an experiment that turned out great. We are very happy!” says conductor Thomas Hennig. Martin Moritz, Marketing Manager of CASIO Europe, agrees: “I believe we surprised many visitors today in a positive way. The premiere has been a great success. We passed the test!”.
CASIO developed the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid Digital Piano in cooperation with C. Bechstein in order to combine the best of both worlds: the sound and feel of a grand piano combined with innovative digital technology. Conductor Thomas Hennig sees many opportunities and practical benefits of this modern technology for every musician and adds: “Not everyone has the money or space for a traditional concert grand piano”.
Pianist Haruka Kuroiwa himself had the idea for this innovative concert. The premiere was an exciting experience to Kuroiwa as well: “To me, it was great and a very special experience to perform a masterpiece of Mozart in such a prestigious concert hall and with such a modern approach. I sincerely appreciate what CASIO does and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
During the first part of the concert, Mozart's Piano Concert Number 23, the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid by CASIO became center stage and was able to shine and demonstrate its potential. During the second part of the concert, the hybrid piano harmoniously blended into the orchestra while performing Mahler’s “Lied von der Erde”.
Conductor Hennig claims: “It was not a competition but a prolific coexistence”. Gregor Willmes, cultural manager of the C. Bechstein piano manufacture, agrees: “It was a pleasure to witness this event. And one could clearly hear that the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid has a beautiful Bechstein sound. Truly a great concert!“ For the spectators as well as for the participants, the premiere was a success and fun experience.
Before the concert, all guests had the opportunity to touch and try the CELVIANO Grand Hybrid from CASIO themselves and to take a look at the inner life of the instrument. Italian pianist Irene Veneziano provided short but soulful musical introductions for the visitors beforehand.