Paolo Fazioli was not destined to become a piano maker when he was born in the city of Rome in 1944, as his entire family specialized in making furniture. However, he found that he had an ear for the piano and graduated with a diploma in piano from the G. Rossini Conservatory and a master’s degree in music composition at the Academy of St. Cecilia. Prior to those degrees though, he did take the time to earn a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Rome.
While he eventually joined the family business, he never gave up his dreams, and the designs for his very first baby grand piano were started in 1979. That first piano was completed by the middle of 1980 and two new models were finished by the end of that year. It was during this time that Fazioli determined which features he wanted to include with his pianos and his Fazioli Piano Factory began right inside the furniture plant.
The business became incorporated as Fazioli Pianoforti in January of 1981 and the three pianos, the F183, F156, and F278, were shown to music professionals, as well as the press. The following month, those same pianos were present at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, and people couldn’t seem to get enough of them. A new model, the F228, was completed by the following year and a collaboration with Zeltron in 1983 helped improve the tonal quality of each model.
Multiple famous pianists began using these pianos, including Martha Argerich, Lazar Berman, Aldo Ciccolini, and Alfred Brendel. The best part was that concert halls around the world were also purchasing these pianos. A newer model was needed for some concert halls though, as the current models lacked the necessary power and tone richness. That is what inspired the F308 piano, which still happens to be the longest piano on the market today!
There are now six models manufactured by Fazioli Pianoforti and they have been played by some of the most fascinating musicians around the world. These pianos have also been featured at the Umbria Jazz Festival and at the Fazioli Concert Hall, which opened in 2004. The largest feat for Paolo Fazioli though was when the Juilliard School broke an eighty-year long tradition and began ordering Fazioli pianos.
The Fazioli pianos have changed the music industry tremendously and they are now used by many performers all around the world. This company may have started off slow, with only a few pianos in production every year. But now, they are close to reaching their goal of making at least one hundred and fifty extraordinary pianos per year.
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