Shigeru Kawai Pianos – The True Story

The thrill and enjoyment a neat little story can give cannot be overlooked. We are talking of the sorts of legends, experiences and occurrences that come full circle into a fabulous, succinct conclusion. The sort of story, with a path and plotline so clear, you might find it difficult to accept as the truth. The story of Shigeru Kawai is such an example of this kind of tale. Here at Richard Lawson Pianos, we could not introduce our range of Shigeru Kawai pianos for sale, unless we told you the background of these beautiful instruments.

Imagine, a Japanese village 100 years ago, complete with local businesses and workshops trying to make their mark in a country that has long been renowned for its innovation, and constant pursuit of perfection.  The engineering of a musical instrument is as much art as science, and craftsmen continually try to improve the design and quality of their products.  Koichi Kawai, spurred on by the excellent apprenticeship offered to him by another local inventor and passionate entrepreneur, embarked on a journey that would span generations to come.

Kawai’s values were well known, as he would often be heard saying, no doubt in earshot of his son Shigeru Kawai, “as long as you are building pianos, you should strive to build the finest ones in the world”. Recognizing that this could not be achieved simply by copying other people’s designs, Shigeru Kawai strived, under the direction of his father, to learn all he could in the business. This was achieved by starting at the humble position of a labourer in his father’s industrial enterprise.  In 1955, when his father’s passing meant that Shigeru Kawai became the company president, he had learned about the process from the floor up.

Shigeru Kawai had many musical achievements in his lifetime, and was labelled a ‘visionary’, as he designed and produced some of the finest pianos in the world.  In the year 2000, Shigeru Kawai launched a range that he was so proud of, the pianos themselves bear his name. Examples of the excellence of the Shigeru Kawai products are seen in the Shigeru Kawai Sk2 and the Shigeru Kawai Sk5, soon to be sold as part of the vast stock of instruments available at Richard Lawson Pianos.

The Shigeru Kawai SK2 and SK5 have the millennium III grand piano action. This means that they are made with carbon fibre parts that allow the instrument to respond faster than the traditional wooden parts, in order for a musical piece to be played with accuracy.

Now is the time while telling this inspirational tale, to bring us neatly back to its origins. What was the inspiration that sent the Kawai family on this journey? Who was the entrepreneur that the father of Shigeru Kawai studied under? None other than Torakusu Yamaha, whose company would later become the world’s leading piano and keyboard manufacturer. Don’t you just love it when a story comes together like that?


Kawai Painos
Yamaha Painos
Petrof Painos
Shigeru Kawai Concert Series

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