Yamaha and the Newport Music Festival Celebrate 25-Year Partnership

Artist Mark Bonnie and John

NEWPORT, R.I. — Yamaha Corporation of America and the Newport Music Festival celebrate the 25th anniversary of a fruitful and enduring partnership marked by rich artistic collaboration, exciting debuts of significant new pianistic talent supported by the world’s finest musical instruments, and the implementation of leading edge technology to expand the festival’s audience and reach.

For 25 consecutive summers, Yamaha has been a major sponsor of the festival – as well as its exclusive piano – providing exceptional concert and conservatory grand pianos and a range of upright and digital instruments, along with outstanding technical support and service. The stellar fleet of instruments provided this year includes the CFIIIS concert grand piano, the C7 conservatory grand, the DC7 Disklavier performance reproducing piano, the DCFIIIS concert grand, the S6 grand and the Boesendorfer 280 concert grand, as well as an assortment of T118 uprights and CLP and CVP Series Clavinova digital pianos.  

The festival’s 44th season ran from July 11 to July 29, 2012 and highlighted the work of Debussy.

The partnership, which blossomed under the leadership of the late Mark P. Malkovich III, continues with his son, Mark P. Malkovich IV. As the Festival’s current director, Malkovich IV has upheld his father’s tradition of presenting unique chamber music programs, American debuts, world-class artists and special events in the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. One of the world’s most beloved and respected chamber music festivals, Newport attracts thousands of music lovers each July to the grand “summer cottages” of the country’s historic Captains of Industry to experience illustrious American and international pianists perform.

“Our association with Yamaha Pianos has brought the Newport Music Festival to new heights,” said Festival General Manager Mark Malkovich IV. “By associating with the excellence of Yamaha’s instruments, the Festival has been able to strengthen its own brand.  But, our association with Yamaha Pianos goes deeper than Festival pianists performing onstage.  Over the past 25 years, I have come to know dozens of committed Yamaha technicians, managers and creative employees, and we have welcomed them all into the Newport “family.”  Today, we rigged a Disklavier to play cannon sounds---who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Here’s to the next 25 years!”

Yamaha Artist Services Director Bonnie Barrett presented an engraved plaque from Tiffany & Co. commemorating the relationship with the Malkovich family in a ceremony prior to the performance by composer, pianist and Yamaha Artist John Bayless on July 26, 2012 at The Breakers Mansion. In a spectacular application of the instrument’s performance reproducing technology, Bayless, who lost use of his right hand following a 2008 stroke, will perform live on the Disklavier with his left hand. As Bayless performs, the Disklavier will concurrently reproduce the compositions’ right-hand parts – recorded in advance by Bayless with his left hand – perfectly in sync with his live performance.

“Newport has offered many of the world’s finest artists the opportunity to experience Yamaha instruments for the first time – and for many, it has marked the beginning of an exclusive relationship with Yamaha,” noted Barrett. “This exquisite backdrop of Gilded Age elegance, combined with the beauty, quality and consistency of Yamaha pianos, has inspired performers and audiences alike.”

Throughout this quarter-century partnership, over 100 pianists have played Yamaha pianos at the festival, with numerous well-known artists launching North American careers, including Yamaha Artists Maria João Pires and Dubravka Tomšič.

“We are grateful to Newport for the continued opportunity to create extraordinary music together and look forward to doing so for many summers to come,” said Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Our association with such a deeply respected and well-loved musical institution has surely helped drive Yamaha’s growing popularity on the world’s concert stages.”

Yamaha also joined forces with Newport to help the festival defy geographic and logistical boundaries and expand its audience. In 2010, Yamaha debuted Web streaming technology to the festival, enabling select performances to be enjoyed by a broader audience via Newtek’s Tricaster portable live production technology.Yamaha broadcasted live from historic Newport performance venues, and compiled material for on-demand video playback at the festival’s conclusion. The following year, the technology progressed to feature high definition video, as well as viewing accessibility via popular mobile and tablet devices. 

In addition, Newport 2011 featured the historic festival premiere of Yamaha Disklavier RemoteLive technology. RemoteLive enables a pianist to perform live in one location and have his or her exact keystrokes and pedal movements transmitted live and in real time to other networked Disklavier pianos anywhere in the world. Combining perfectly synchronized video and audio plus MIDI broadcast from a single location to multiple locations, Disklavier RemoteLive is redefining how piano performance and education is shared and experienced.

Learn more at http://4wrd.it/NEWPORTFESTIVAL.

For more information about Yamaha products, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622-6600; call (714) 522-9011; email infostation@yamaha.com; or visit http://4wrd.it/YAMAHAUSA.


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