Hungarian space-age piano scales new heights, creator says

Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:28pm EST
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By Marton Dunai

SZIGETHALOM, Hungary (Reuters) - In the 19th century, piano makers competed to make special instruments for Hungarian virtuoso Franz Liszt, the world's first piano superstar.

Now Hungary is returning the favor with a space-age piano named for its creator, pianist Gergely Boganyi.

"The Boganyi", unveiled on Tuesday, has two legs, uses carbon composite as well as wood and employs wild curves to get a more powerful and balanced sound than that of similar-sized conventional models.

"What we created will enrich piano history," Boganyi, 41, told Reuters in his team's workshop loft at a crumbling communist-era factory.

"It is said that old pianos sound friendly, velvety, while new ones are stronger and more powerful. I was hoping for both."

Nearly all 18,000 components were rethought. The two wide, curved legs double as sound deflectors. Thanks to an intricate mechanism, the strings apply minimal pressure on the sound board, made of over 20 carbon composite layers. The cast-iron frame boasts an all-new design.

Although Boganyi does not yet know the price, he said that, given the materials, "it cannot be cheap".


Award-winning Hungarian pianist Gergely Boganyi plays his new concept piano at a recording studio in Budapest January 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh