Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bechstein's 160th Anniversary

Carl Bechstein set out to manufacture a piano able to withstand the great demands imposed on the instrument by the virtuosi of the time, such as Franz Liszt. In 1857, Liszt’s son-in-law, Hans von Bulow, gave the first public performance on a Bechstein grand piano by performing Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor in Berlin.

For over 160 years, Bechstein pianos have held a reputation as among the finest pianos in the world, competing with Bösendorfer and Steinway in construction, performance and tonal quality. The great composers Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Debussy, and many others remarked on the marvelous tone they produced.

Visit Showcase Pianos today to discover the whole family of Bechstein pianos:  C. Bechstein, Bechstein, and W. Hoffmann!

Vancouver has become the World's Top Market for Fazioli Pianos

      [Pictured above: Showcase Pianos owners Manuel & Judy Bernaschek]

VANCOUVER, BC – Due to the unmatched quality of materials and workmanship, the Italian ‘Fazioli’ is regarded as being the costliest brand of pianos being produced in the world today.  In the 2015 calendar year, more Fazioli pianos were sold in Vancouver than anywhere else in the world.

To understand what that represents in the piano world, it can be said in this way: Vancouver as a city received more Fazioli pianos in 2015 than the entire United States, than all of Germany, and all of China.  Locally, the Fazioli importer is a store called Showcase Pianos that has a location on West Broadway in Vancouver and in Richmond’s beautiful Aberdeen Centre.

Store owner Manuel Bernaschek says that more than 50% of the buyers are Asian – either from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Indonesia.  Bernaschek started learning to speak Mandarin Chinese almost 20 years ago, and recommends it to all of his local Caucasian friends.   “After all, it is the most widely spoken language in the world!”, Bernaschek states proudly.   “I’m glad that so many are investing in our economy.”

“But not all of our customers are of Chinese origin.   We still have many local Caucasian clients.”, continues Bernaschek.   “For example, we are very proud of our association with Westbank.”  Bernaschek referred to his partnership with the award winning development company headed up by local visionary Ian Gillespie.  “Ian shares my passion for one-of-a-kind art case pianos, and the latest example is the Fazioli in the lobby of the Telus Garden building.”   The unique piano was designed by architect Gregory Henriquez, who mimicked the support beams of the building in the legs of the piano.  “But the best is yet to come”, states Bernaschek, referring to designs for Fazioli piano cases being commissioned by Westbank from some of the world’s leading architects, including Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, and Bing Thom.

The great local enthusiasm for quality products has also allowed Bernaschek to realize yet another ‘Italian’ dream.  “In the late summer of 2016, we are opening Canada’s first Stefano Ricci store – a brand of men’s clothing, completely made by hand in Italy, and featuring the finest materials.”   Described by some as being ‘über-luxurious’, Stefano Ricci’s eagle head belt buckle has become extremely popular among the world’s elite.

Fazioli at Telus Garden:

Largest Grand Piano to ever come to BC:

Music Sounds Better on the World’s Finest Piano:   

Mini-Documentary on Fazioli Pianos in Canada: