Italian piano manufacturer Fazioli continues to delight the Canadian market with sales strong throughout the pandemic period.
Manuel Bernaschek, President of Showcase Pianos in Vancouver, which sells the brand, said more than 200 Fazioli pianos have been sold in Canada, with more than half of them going to Vancouver where there are many families that place a strong emphasis on the study of music, and having the best possible equipment.
“Vancouver is also home to one of the world’s largest collectors of art-case Fazioli pianos – the Westbank Development Company – who installs custom Fazioli pianos in many of their iconic buildings. Despite being sold out until 2024, the three Canadian representatives of Fazioli confirm that they currently have models in their shops for people to test and welcome everyone to come and see for themselves what all the fuss is about,” said Bernaschek. “Westbank bought 20 of them. So they’re the largest owner of Fazioli pianos in the world.
“Many piano companies will host dealer meetings from time to time, but the ones hosted by Fazioli are very special. In general, it’s the store owners themselves that come and attend, giving it a very special energy. When we are shown updates in the factory, and watch Mr. Fazioli’s eyes light up when he describes improvements he has made to the pianos, everyone has their camera out and is listening very attentively. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone recognizes these moments for what they truly are – this is history in the making.”
Showcase Pianos began in 2007. It currently has two locations in Vancouver and in Richmond. The Richmond location is 3,600 square feet and the one in Vancouver is 4,300 square feet.
“This business has really done well through COVID. I think people are stuck at home and they’re looking to what they’re going to do while they’re stuck at home and then they’re like ‘oh I guess I should get a better piano if I’m going to be playing piano all day’,” said Bernaschek.
He said Showcase Pianos sells about 10 Fazioli’s each year. Prices start at about $150,000.
In May, Paolo Fazioli celebrated the 40th anniversary of his piano factory in Sacile, a small town of 20,000 people just 45-minute northeast of Venice.
In speaking to his dealers at his factory’s Concert Hall, Fazioli explained that despite the continued increase in demand, the factory will not go beyond producing 150 units a year. Each instrument requires more than 2,000 man-hours to produce.
“We do not want to compromise on the time it takes to produce exceptional pianos. Quality is what we value most,” he said to them.
The factory produced 150 units in 2021 and expects to do the same in 2022 and 2023. As of May, all Fazioli pianos are sold out until the beginning of 2024.
“When you’re on it, it’s like you’re hearing the piano for the first time,” said Bernaschek. “It’s clarity that’s beyond any other piano and then a dynamic range that’s beyond any other piano. So basically it can let you play softer than any other piano and more powerfully, more loud, than any other piano without feeling like you hit the limit or something went weird on the sound because you played too loud.”
“It’s their dedication to quality that really makes the difference. ‘The proof is in the pudding’ as they say. Their popularity is growing because pianists are discovering everything that is possible on a Fazioli – a dynamic range that is truly beyond anything else available on the market,” said Michael Lipnicki.
“In Canada, a few leading pianists own or perform on Fazioli pianos, including Angela Hewitt, Louis Lortie, and Marc-Andre Hamelin. These are the top classical music influencers in our country. Then you have jazz pianists like Herbie Hancock who insist on only playing Fazioli, and the Juilliard School in New York that broke away from their 80-year tradition of only buying one single brand to start buying Fazioli pianos, and this leaves many pianists curious to discover it for themselves,” said Mike Remenyi Jr.