The piano industry doesn’t often hit the headlines for its innovation, inspite of there being frequent developments and improvements in design, but Gergely Bogányi’s radically different grand piano, launched on the 2oth January in Budapest, is already quite a talking point beyond the piano industry. It looks more like an ornate prop from a stylish sci-fi movie, with organic shapes and a gravity-defying structure which sees the back leg of the piano removed completely. From a functional perspective, a main driving factor in the design has been for the piano remain stable with temperature and humidity changes and to have a richer tone. In a sharp break from the piano-making tradition, the Bogányi Piano has been designed with a carbon-fibre soundboard consisting of more than 20 layers, instead of a wooden one, which isn’t simply more resistant to changes in humidity but can actually be removed from the frame itself if it becomes damaged.
Structurally, the piano has two curved legs (rather than the grand piano’s traditional three straight legs) which gives a sense of it hovering precariously above the ground. The legs themselves represent function as much as form; according to the designers, they’re designed to both reflect sound and increase resonance.
For years I have performed with a sound in my head different to that which I was playing. It was always in another dimension from the actual sound coming from the piano. Somehow, it was a more beautiful, harmonious, flowing sound. Gergely Bogányi
The piano is also unique in having two extra keys on both treble and bass. We haven’t tried one ourselves yet, but there’s certainly excitement about the tone of the instrument which is being seen as something quite new. You can hear for yourself when Bogányi performs a recital at Liszt Academy in Hungary on Wednesday 11 March with pieces by Bach, Schubert and Schumann.