Late Architect's Vision Realized in Piano with Curved Keyboard
A Tempo this Saturday (6/24 at 7 pm) looks at the story behind a piano designed with a curved keyboard - and more - by the late architect Rafael Viñoly, and the instrument's new home at another Viñoly project, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The design of the concert grand piano hasn't seen much change in more than 150 years, but there was something about it that bothered the late architect Rafael Viñoly, himself an amateur pianist. The traditional straight keyboard just wasn't a fit for the arc that a pianist's arms naturally make in reaching out. After hearing similar comments from top pianists, he teamed up with piano maker Chris Maene, and last summer, they unveiled their new design at the Verbier Festival. The piano recently arrived at its new home at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Viñoly, who passed away this past March.
A Tempo host Rachel Katz this week speaks with Maene and with Viñoly's son, Roman, about the development of the new design, which went beyond just the shape of the keyboard, and the acoustic nuances that resulted. She also chats with Matías Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center and Philadelphia Orchestra, about the piano, which will be made available to guest pianists and students of the Curtis Institute of Music.