I worked for for Bosendorfer during the Kimball years. That, in my opinion, was a much less logical combination than Bosendorfer and Yamaha and there were plenty of jokes (Kimball-dorfers, Bosen-balls). But, in fact, Kimball was a wonderful steward for Bosendorfer, probably a better steward of Bosendorfer than of their own brand. I believe that a large part of our US market presence today is due to the tremendous investment in Bosendorfer marketing that Kimball made 25 years ago. You can accuse me of smarmonisoty (I made part of that up) at this point, but I believe that Yamaha will be a similar steward (and I sincerely hope so for the sake of my career). There is an important aspect to the value proposition, beyond the simple profit and loss accounting, that just makes sense. Yamaha is deeply dedicated to the world of serious pianos and music making and has demonstrated that dedication for decades. They are committed to producing the highest level pianos they can. The S series (especially the concert grand) are supremely crafted pianos and Yamaha is backing that up with a substantial investment in very market segment specific marketing. Visit their Artist Services facility on 5th avenue in New York if you doubt the intensity of their commitment. Before you accuse me of being a syncophant, look into my background. It is their intentions and, yes, their history that, I believe, makes a critical difference.
The Gibson Company was raided twice by agents of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, once in 2009 and … (more...)