The history of the ALPHA Piano begins with a meeting at Klavierhaus Weinberger in Enns, Austria, at 3:00 PM on February 23, 2009. Mario Aiwasian and Bruno Weinberger have been close acquaintances via their work for Bösendorfer and they discussed many ideas about manufacturing a novel grand piano. Mario knows many artists who desire a novel grand piano, including Claire Worral of the Robbie Williams Band or Lenny Krevitz. For years, Bruno has been friends with Peter Wolf, the Austrian pianist and music producer who lives and works in Los Angeles and who also desires new professional concert grand – on the one hand mechanically traditionally designed, on the other with electronic/digital tone production.
One of them, Mario Aiwasian, himself an active musician and connoisseur of the music scene, had the idea for a novel way of measuring a piano hammer's strike energy; the other, Bruno Weinberger, piano builder and entrepreneur, has dreamt of the piano of the 21st century. They put their visions and know-how together, decide on a collaboration and begin with planning an entirely novel piano: "How would the piano that the captain on the Starship Enterprise plays in his suite look, and how would it work?"
Questions about questions
Why do Lionel Richie and Elton John play a large acoustic grand in their concerts even though the original sound from the piano is not even used? The pianos for the large shows are all equipped with MIDI bars underneath the keyboard. These MIDI signals activate a sound sample and it is this sound that is sent to the loudspeakers for the audience. Why then bother with the black "three meter, 1100-pound monster" concert grand, which reacts sensitively to transportation, temperature and humidity fluctuations, has to be tuned and fastidiously maintained?
Why would even the latest and best hybrid pianos by the major manufacturers be played by the top acts neither onstage or in the studios? What are artists in the popular music industry all about? Why do classical and jazz pianists continue to reject the best hybrid pianos practically categorically? What are the essential needs of a pianist? In summary, there are three primary requirements:
- The piano must have a reliable and repetition-capable action, not too heavy, yet not too light either. The action must make it possible for the artist to shape the sound optimally.
- The sound needs to be easily shapeable, expressive and emotionally touching.
- The instrument has to "look good," whereby optics play a more prominent role in popular music than in so-called "serious" music.
Either we'll find a way or we'll make one
While Mario developed his invention with the new sensors and the software, Bruno catered to the grand piano action, the height adjustability and the design. This division of labor proved its merits in the development period. The roles thus remained for the ongoing production and are distributed well.
|Bruno Weinberger||Mario Aiwasian|
Bruno Weinberger (b. 1963 in Linz, Austria) became a member of the St. Florian Boys Choir at the age of eight, where he received a well-grounded music education. As a 15-year-old he went to Vienna to learn the piano builder's trade at the famous Bösendorfer piano factory. Already during his apprenticeship he received certification in piano tuning, voicing and as a concert technician.
Already in his early years, he came into contact with world-renowned pianists and serviced grand and upright pianos for Bösendorfer in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and above all in France. He has been self-employed since 1987. In 1991, he founded Klavierhaus Weinberger in Enns and in 2001 the first Weinberger piano saw the light of day.
The collaboration with development partner Mario Aiwasian has proven itself to be highly successful. With the ALPHA Piano, he has come very close to realizing his vision of developing the piano for the 21st century.
In addition to family and work, Bruno Weinberger enjoys flying - he is a passionate private pilot.
Mario Aiwasian (b. 1969 in Tulln, Lower Austria) earned a national diploma from the American Institute of Music in 1992 with a major in guitar and has played for numerous national and international artists.
In addition to his activity as a music teacher, he pursued a career as an audio engineer and specialized in multichannel formats that were used especially in film dubbing by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation and others. He has turned to the medium of 3D computer animation with his self-produced project "The Leafman" - a children's television story about a forest spirit.
The combination of artist and engineer ultimately brought him to the traditional piano manufacturer Bösendorfer in 2005, where he was the product manager responsible for the computer piano CEUS, as well as the digital piano project CEUS Master. The collaboration with international stars such as Robbie Williams and Lenny Kravitz sharpened his intuition for the "must have" in the premier league of electronic pianos: the ALPHA Piano!
As the father of two children, Mario exhilarates in the miracles of life every day