On July 19, 2022, celebrated pianist Kirill Gerstein’s performance at the Verbier Festival, which
will be broadcast live on Medici.tv, will mark the public debut of the Maene-Viñoly Concert
Grand Piano.
The novel instrument was developed jointly by master piano maker Chris Maene and renowned
architect Rafael Viñoly. The piano’s curved ergonomic keyboard matches the natural sweep
of a pianist’s arms rotating from the shoulders and facilitates effortless playing across all
registers. The keyboard’s radial arrangement is extended to strings that fan out over a much
larger soundboard augmenting the instrument’s capacity for nuance, clarity, and power.
Mr. Viñoly is an avid amateur pianist whose own experience and close friendships with master
pianists has sharpened his awareness of the instrument’s biomechanical demands and inspired
his idea to curve the keyboard. In a 2016 conversation with legendary artists Maestro Daniel
Barenboim and Martha Argerich, he was encouraged to develop the concept. Soon after,
Viñoly sought out a partnership with Chris Maene, who had previously developed a straightstrung grand piano for Maestro Barenboim.
First, the team collaborated with noted piano kinematics researcher Renzo Pozzo, professor at
the Department of Medical and Biological Sciences at the University of Udine (Italy), and
German pianist and researcher Dr. Henriette Gärtner to determine the keyboard’s ideal arc.
The further technical and aesthetic development leveraged time-honored piano-building
traditions, computer-aided design and acoustic modeling, and the generous feedback and
support of some of the world’s most prominent piano technicians and artists including Emanuel
Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Kirill Gerstein, and Stephen Hough, among others.
After six years of development, we are proud to present a grand piano that exceeds our team’s
expectations of sound quality, ergonomics, construction, and aesthetics.


Kirill Gerstein said:
Classical forms remain vibrant and relevant through change and development. The MaeneViñoly concert grand advances the discourse of what a modern grand piano is while
acknowledging and utilizing the traditions and ideas of the past. Its curved keyboard, designed
to follow the natural arc of the arm’s movement, is a starting point for a re-examined layout of
the larger soundboard that follows along this curvature. The unified design, ergonomics, and
function give the piano a unique sonic signature. This piano is a musical and artistic creation,
as art innovates and provokes by building on the achievements of the past to look into the
future. I am thrilled and honored to give the first public performance on the Maene-Viñoly
Concert Grand.
Chris Maene said:
Rafael Viñoly is an exceptional architect with a clear vision and a profound passion for his
creations. In the instrument’s design, the visual aspects are a logical extension of the drive to
meet its acoustic and ergonomic goals. By considering it as an integrated whole, he drove us
to challenge a grand piano’s traditional set-up and embrace the consequences of the
foundational idea. The physics of conveying the forces applied to the ergonomic keyboard
lent itself to a radial straight strung arrangement and to our unique expertise. The result is
astonishing: from Rafael Viñoly’s ideas arose a radically new concert grand, with unique looks
and an exquisite sound!
Rafael Viñoly said:
Chris Maene’s obvious expertise, sensitivity and commitment to excellence can only have
come out of a lifetime of probing and learning about making pianos. But more than that, no
other piano maker has the courage to challenge the status quo of a culture and industry that
has seen little innovation on behalf of its most important exponents, professional artists. Chris
has the courage of an artist, because he is one, as well as a consummate craftsman.