Sunday, November 29, 2009

Angela Hewitt Performs Live on Global TV News

Vancouver, BC - The Canadian concert pianist that has been hailed by the Guardian Newspaper as the "pre-eminent Bach pianist of our time" was invited to appear live on the weekend edition of Global TV News.

Angela Hewitt is considered to be the foremost exponent of Joahnn Sebastian Bach. On Sunday the 29th of November, Ms. Hewitt was interviewed by Global TV news achor Sophie Lui.

A beautiful Fazioli F183 (6') piano was sent to the studio for Angela Hewitt to perform on. The Fazioli piano is made by hand in Italy, and is now widely regarded as the finest piano in the world.

Vancouver's Fazioli Piano Owners Treat Angela Hewitt to Dinner

Vancouver, BC - Some of the 20 or so owners of Fazioli pianos in the area were invited to have dinner with Angela Hewitt at the Shangri-La Hotel's beautiful 'Market by Jean-Georges' Restaurant during her visit to Vancouver.

Angela Hewitt, an internationally acclaimed Canadian pianist, was in Vancouver for two sold-out performance with the Vancouver Recital Society.
Photos by Leo Cai:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fazioli Opens Store in Milan

Italy's famed piano factory opened it's own store in Milan on the 21st of November 2009 making it easier and more accessible for the Italian people to take one for a test drive. Previously, Italians had to travel directly to the factory in Sacile, a small town around 60km north of Venice. Canadian concert pianist Louis Lortie performed a mini-concert to inaugurate the new store.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Best of the Best! But which one is faster?

The Bugatti Veyron Sport 16.4 might have 1001 horsepower, but compare that with the 'speed of sound'! The price tag for the Bugatti is a whopping $2.2M - making the half-million dollars for the Fazioli M. Liminal beside it look like just pocket change!

The Bugatti has a second key, that lowers the car when inserted in preparation for the extra high speeds. In case you left the 'hard-top' at home, it comes with a handy 'umbrella-like' soft-top that folds up very small.

Weissach Vancouver is Western Canada's exclusive dealer for Bugatti automobiles, visit them at:

The Fazioli M. Liminal shown here is the only one in Canada, and was designed by world renowned architect Philippe Gendre of NYT Line in France. The piano is on display and available for purchase at Showcase Pianos in Vancouver, 1224 West Broadway:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Craning a piano in West Vancouver

Moving a piano with a huge crane is actually much easier than it looks! The fantastic views of the city from this beautiful West Vancouver home made for some excellent photos. Enjoy!

Showcase Pianos is located at 1224 West Broadway in Vancouver, and is the exclusive dealer for Fazioli and Baldwin pianos in Western Canada. Showcase Pianos is also the new dealer for China's highest rated upright piano, the Perzina.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Single Largest Concert Grand in Western Canada Breaks Two Legs


CALGARY, AB – If this would have happened to a horse, the outcome would have been much different. On Wednesday morning, western Canada’s single largest concert grand piano was being picked up from Mount Royal University, and during the initial stages of the move, the massive piano broke two of its legs.

Thank goodness they didn’t shoot it.

The piano is a rare Italian piano called a Fazioli. Though they produce a very limited 100 grand pianos a year in many sizes, they also make the largest piano currently in production. Whereas a normal Steinway concert grand is less than 1,000 pounds and just under 9 feet long, the Fazioli F308 weighs nearly 1,500 pounds and is more than 10 feet long!

The piano is being borrowed by our country’s most famous concert pianist, Angela Hewitt. She will perform on it with the CPO for audiences at the Jack Singer Hall today and tomorrow.

New piano legs were immediately sent out from Vancouver which arrived to the Jack Singer Hall late Thursday night. Manuel Bernaschek, owner of Vancouver based Showcase Pianos, installed the legs together with local concert technician Michael Lipnicki.

Angela Hewitt to play rare Italian Fazioli with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

CALGARY, AB – The monstrous Fazioli F308 is more than ten feet long, and is the largest piano in western Canada. It is the prized possession of Mount Royal University, who won’t let ‘just anyone’ take it for a test drive.

Well, Angela Hewitt isn’t ‘just anyone’. She is one of Canada’s most famous pianists, world renowned for her incredible interpretations on the piano. Hewitt will be taking the Fazioli ‘for a spin’ later this month during her two concerts with the CPO at the Jack Singer Hall.

Hewitt will play Mozart’s beautiful Piano Concerto No. 21, the “Elvira Madigan”, and Symphony No. 40 with the CPO this month in an all Mozart program that will offering Calgarians a rare glimpse of the Fazioli piano that is being trucked in especially for her.

In an interview last year with the Globe & Mail, Hewitt expressed her wish that more pianists would discover a Fazioli and see ‘how much more you can do with a piano’.

Since the opening of the retail Fazioli store in Vancouver in 2007, two families in Alberta have discovered the Fazioli piano for themselves and chosen to make it the centrepiece of their home. The 6 and 7 foot ‘home’ sized models start at around $100,000 – which is half of the price of their concert grand pianos, but still double the price of the more popular US made Steinway & Sons.

Founder Paolo Fazioli, himself a pianists and engineer, started the company in 1979 after his dissatisfaction with other pianos led him to believe that he could use his knowledge of both worlds to produce something vastly superior, something that would be quickly recognized as a real masterpiece of workmanship.

Now, 30 years later, Fazioli is a key player on the concert stage, and can boast of converting illustrious pianists like Herbie Hancock and Louis Lortie.

Media coverage of Fazioli arrival into Calgary:

Media coverage of Fazioli arrival into Edmonton:

Information on Angela Hewitt’s concert with the CPO:

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Surprise For My Wife...

Before I tell you about what was possibly the greatest anniversary surprise of all time, you should first of all know that my wife Judy is nearly impossible to surprise - she can almost always tell when I'm up to something, or when any little thing is out of the ordinary. I knew I would also have to create clues for a fake surprise, in addition to working on the real one.

Two years ago, for our first wedding anniversary, we took a trip to Orcas Island and stayed in our friends empty house. So, to lead Judy in the wrong direction, I arranged for that same friend to leave a message on our home phone saying: "Hi Manuel! Umm... This doesn't sound like your cell phone - but any way, August 23rd is fine!"

I knew Judy would stumble on the message, and she would assume that I was trying to surprise her with another trip to Orcas Island. I had her fooled right down until the last minute, but once we arrived at the airport, she quickly figured out that our plane wasn't going to Orcas Island, but rather to the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort near Tofino:

I don't normally write about our personal life on this blog, but I thought I would mention it since this is the vacation package that we are giving away with the purchase of the Fazioli 'M. Liminal' piano.

The anniversary surprise didn't start at the resort though. Our first night was actually spent at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver. Judy said that Vancouver's Shangri-La was equivalent to, or even surpassed New York's Carlyle, and London's Connaught.

Our stay at the Shangri-La was also a surprise for Judy. She thought we were going to visit a friend there. During that day, I kept mentioning the friend's name. I had also stepped out from work for a few minutes, and I ran down to the Shangri-La to check in and leave our bag in the room - I had to secretly pack it a few days before!

Then, when we went down to the hotel at 5:30pm, which was the time Judy thought we were suppose to meet our friend. As we were pulling up, I told her that the friend had mentioned we could get to their apartment from the hotel side, and it's unit number 1414.

When we got there, she rang the doorbell, but no answer. Down the hall, there were some orchids, so I asked said: “Do you think those orchids are real?” I knew the curiosity would get the best of her, so she walked over to check.

Then I waved the key in front of the door, and it opened and I walked in, and Judy ran back and walked in right after. She walked all the way in saying “Hello? Hello??” - and then she started to realize something was up. She looked at me and said “What’s going on here???” - frowning, but still not able to contain her smile.

The picture you see here was taken just after that moment.

We had dinner at 'Market', and were treated to a couple's massage at the 'Chi' Spa in the morning - the most fantastic spa treatment we have ever enjoyed!

The room had it's own 'Nespresso' machine, and even a little TV in the bathroom mirror! It had buttons to control the drapes, sheers, and all the lights. Nice TV's in both the bedroom and living room, and a nice balcony too.

After the couples massage at the 'Chi' Spa, we checked out and made our way to the float-plane terminal near the Vancouver airport. Here are some photos of the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort: