Robert Estrin - piano expert
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What is the Largest Piano in The World?

Learn more about piano trivia

Released on August 27, 2014

  
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Hi and welcome to VirtualSheetMusic.com and LivingPianos.com. I'm Robert Estrin, your host. Today's question is what is the biggest piano in the world? All right, this is a great question and you're going to be surprised at the answer. But at first I want to give you a little back story. Of course Baby Grands are around five feet and Grand pianos are around six feet. You've got finally, the Concert Grand nine feet. And the largest production piano in the world is the Bosendorfer Imperial Concert Grand at nine and a half feet long. Is that the biggest piano? Not by a long shot.

The biggest piano I have personally played was a 12 foot piano made by David Rubinstein. And it is a wonderful instrument. In fact, he built two pianos; an eight foot piano and a twelve foot piano. And they're remarkably good pianos and particularly considering that those are the only pianos he's built. And he just didn't parts from other manufacturers, which is typically the way a lot of people or small manufacturers - they'll take a plate from one company, and axom from another company and do some tweaks to the scale design. But no, David Rubinstein, he produced these pianos completely, the plates, everything. And they're very nice instruments and a 12 foot piano has a very big sound. But is that the biggest piano in the world. Believe it or not, no.

In fact, in Poland Daniel Czapiewski make a six meter piano. That's almost 20 feet long. It weighs more than two tons. Can you imagine such a thing. Now, I haven't had the opportunity to play this piano but it is remarkably large. I can't even imagine what it sounds like. Now, does this mean that the bigger the piano, when you get that big, is it going to be better? Not necessarily. There's a lot to the physics of the sound that's involved. I would reserve judgment on that piano until I played it, but you have to figure there's a certain amount of energy your fingers could impart to a hammer to a string, and just a certain amount of energy that that string is going to exert on the soundboard with a sound board that immense. The question is how much energy does it take to get it to vibrate. I would love to try that piano.

But at this point, the biggest piano I've played is David Rubinstein's 12 foot piano, and that is quite an instrument. And the largest production piano, the Imperial piano, The Imperial Bosendorfer, nine and a half feet.

Thanks so much for the great questions. keep them coming in. I'm Robert Estrin here with VirtualSheetMusic.com and LivingPianos.com.
 
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Comments/Questions/Requests:

Kendah on September 1, 2014 @4:18 pm PST
Wow ! I'm just dreaming that i'm playing on this giant piano.thanks a lot mr.robert.
Fulvia Bowerman * VSM MEMBER * on August 28, 2014 @1:56 pm PST
While waiting for an organ lesson, I sat at their grand Fazioli piano. I found the keys required a great deal of strength. Do you know if this is typical of Fazioli pianos, or maybe all grand pianos require more strength than an upright?

On a different subject, I would like to contact you by email, but when I click on it on this page, I get the message: Could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed. I have a question regarding the felt of my upright Yamaha and would like to send you some pictures. I don't think it is installed properly, but the piano tuner did not think it is a problem. Thank you.
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Robert - host, on August 28, 2014 @3:06 pm PST
You are right - grand pianos generally require more strength to play than uprights. Fazioli pianos do not have unusually heavy actions.

Please email me at Robert@LivingPianos.com. That email address definitely works.
Elaine van Roon * VSM MEMBER * on August 27, 2014 @11:14 pm PST
We had a radio documentary her a few weeks ago which featured what the maker described as the biggest piano in the world. I will send you the story, and although it is obviously not as big as 20 feet, I am sure you will be interested.The Alexander Piano

adrain for web Adrian and his piano at Alpine Farm in South Canterbury.

The largest grand piano in the world.

Despite having no formal training 15-year-old Adrian Mann decided that he was going to build a piano from scratch. It was going to be the world's largest and longest grand piano and four years later, he had successfully completed his masterpiece.

Named the Alexander Piano after Adrian’s great, great grandfather Alexander Barrie Mann, the piano is about the same width as a standard grand but is a whopping 5.7metres long and with it came many unusual challenges.

“A big challenge were the keys, the keys had to be about a metre long. It’s an ordinary keyboard but inside the piano it goes a long way back and I went through about four different designs and prototypes making it, before it actually worked. It definitely took alot of energy and thinking, even when I went to bed I was thinking how am I going to stop the keys from warping, or how am I going to get the strings to work so they don’t clang into each other!” Adrian says.

He started building the piano in a garage but soon realised that the instrument was going to be too big, so local farmers Peter and Jane Evans suggested he move the project to an implement shed on their 1000 hectare sheep and beef property in the Pareora Gorge near Timaru, where he completed the project.

The piano is still in the farm shed and regular concerts are held there to showcase its unique sound. University of Otago music teaching fellow Tom McGrath will be playing it there on August 29.

In September the piano is leaving the farm for Auckland where it'll be on display at the KBB Music store and in October it will be at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere, where a pianist will perform the first movement of a Prokofiev's Piano Concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia.
There was a photo, which hasn't gone through,

I really enjoy your tips, as I am a competent amateur pianist.
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Robert - host, on August 28, 2014 @10:07 am PST
That's quite a story - thanks for sharing!
Bill McClellan on August 27, 2014 @6:24 am PST
Have you ever played a Fandrich and Sons 212 cm piano? How would you describe the action? This is a piano made in Stanwood, WA by Darrell Fandrich.
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Robert - host, on August 27, 2014 @11:11 am PST
I have not played any of the Asian pianos that Darrell Fandrich modifies, but I would be interested in trying them.
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