(Los Angeles) – The Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano made its debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall during the 2008 Grammy Awards “Salute to Classical Music” held in Los Angeles, California in February. The event honored renowned American pianist and Kawai Artist, Earl Wild, for his significant contributions to the art of music making over a long and distinguished career. Master of Ceremonies John Lithgow introduced Wild, who performed two well-known Chopin works on the Shigeru Kawai Concert Grand before receiving the “President’s Merit Award” by The Recording Academy president and CEO, Neil Portnow.
Earl Wild is known internationally as one of the last in a long line of great virtuoso piano/composers. He was included in the Philips Records series entitled “The Great Pianists of the 20th Century, with a double disc devoted exclusively to his piano transcriptions. In 1939, as staff pianist with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, Wild became the first artist to perform a piano recital on US television. He is also one of only a handful of living pianists to merit an entry in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, where he is described as a pianist whose technique "is able to encompass even the most difficult virtuoso works with apparent ease".
The Shigeru Kawai EX Concert Grand Piano is the flagship instrument of an elite line of handcrafted grand pianos created as the “personal legacy” of the late Shigeru Kawai, who led Kawai Musical Instrument Manufacturing for over fifty years. The Shigeru EX is recognized as one of the world’s great concert grand pianos – and was recently selected by the “National Center for the Performing Arts” in Beijing, China in anticipation of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.