Established in 1987 in New York City, Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. (YASI) provides a wide range of professional services exclusively for performing artists, concert venues, performing arts organizations and educational institutions, representing an unparalleled commitment to the music industry and an invaluable resource for musicians, presenters and educators worldwide.
Since 2005, Yamaha Artist Services New York has been located in the heart of midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and 54th Street, in a historical landmarked 1925 building which originally served as Aeolian Hall, the headquarters of the Aeolian Piano Company. Designed by Warren & Wetmore, the architects of other notable buildings in New York City (Grand Central Terminal, Steinway Hall,) the building later became the headquarters for Elizabeth Arden. Occupying over 4,000 square feet, the Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon features an elegant performance venue seating up to 150 and houses a large selection of concert-ready Premium Pianos of various sizes, including the acclaimed Yamaha CF series (CFX, CF6, CF4,) Bösendorfer, and Disklavier instruments, as well as the innovative AvantGrand hybrid piano. Led by Chief Concert Technician Hiro Mizutani, formerly the head of Yamaha’s technical training academy in Hamamatsu, Japan, Yamaha Artist Services also provides outstanding technical support for concert venues and artists throughout the United States.
The Piano Salon was designed with a state-of-the art, acoustically adaptable sound environment, Yamaha’s Active Field Control system (AFC). The sound processing technology of AFC can optimize room acoustics to suit the size of the performance, from solo to ensemble, and can recreate authentic acoustic simulations of other performing arts venues. The Piano Salon also features a wide-screen projection system and stereo surround sound, along with video recording equipment and a Newtek Tricaster, for live webcasts of concerts and events.
The Piano Salon is a versatile space which hosts instrument selections for artists, concert venues and educational institutions; rehearsals, recitals, auditions, masterclasses, press receptions, lectures and film screenings. Most recently, the Piano alon has been at the forefront of showcasing Yamaha’s groundbreaking RemoteLive technology, a brilliant new way of delivering a live performance experience by linking two or more Disklavier pianos together, anywhere in the world.Yamaha Artist Services New York works in close collaboration with other Yamaha Artist Service centers throughout the world, including those located in Japan, China, and Europe, ensuring the seamless and unwavering support of Yamaha Artists internationally, wherever they are performing.
Formerly known as the Aeolian Building, this 14-story structure was named as the avenue's outstanding new structure of 1926 by the Fifth Avenue Association. The Aeolian Piano Company was following its own tradition of commercial pioneering on Fifth Avenue, and a general northward move by many of the city's musical entities.
The Aeolian Company entered a 63-year lease with Charles A. Gould for the new building at 689 Fifth Avenue on the former site of William Rockefeller's brownstone mansion. The new building was designed in the French Renaissance style by Warren & Wetmore, and featured an Indiana limestone facade with a pink granite base and Italian marble panels and insets.
Like the St. Regis Hotel at the north end of the same block on the avenue, the Aeolian Building meets the corner with a curve rather than a sharp edge and it is one of the few buildings in the city that still has curved corner windows. The avoidance of hard edges, in keeping with Warren's interest in softening the harshness of many skyscrapers, is further accented by the building's bronze ribbon sashes, curved balustrades and cornices and a sloped roof capped by a copper lantern finial covered in gold leaf.
The building's image changed somewhat in 1930 when a bright red door was installed in the building's store at 691 Fifth Avenue heralding the flagship salon for Elizabeth Arden. The Elizabeth Arden Company and its salon are still tenants.
Together with the St. Regis Hotel, the University Club,, and St. Patrick's Cathedral three blocks south, the Aeolian Building has epitomized from its beginning the avenue's reputation as the world's most stylish street. If one wore blinders and opened one's eyes standing across the avenue, one would almost think that somehow the greatest Art Nouveau designers of Paris had merged with Palladian-inspired designers from Italy and Neoclassical designers from London to create the newest and highest standards of international urban elegance. This generation of commercial buildings did raise standards from the rather clunky and dark brownstone mansions that preceded it on the avenue in Midtown. If all of the avenue had been so transformed, New York might have given Paris competition as the urban standard-bearer for architectural plendor.