Pianist editor Erica Worth talks all things AvantGrand with Noriko Ogawa

22 January 2019
By Ellie Palmer
Erica Worth and Noriko Ogawa Erica Worth and Noriko Ogawa
Watch Noriko's piano lessons below!

Former Leeds International Piano Competition prize winner Noriko Ogawa is no stranger to the world of digital pianos. She has been a regular feature on the Pianist TV channel over the last few months playing Yamaha's AvantGrand pianos. If you have ever wanted to learn Debussy's famous Arabesque No 1 or Chopin's 'Minute' Waltz, start learning below!

Interestingly, the AvantGrand is not an outright digital piano in itself. Nicknamed the 'hybrid', it mixes both acoustic and digital features.

"It's very good! It really feels like a natural piano," explains Noriko. "This is not the first time I am playing on a digital instrument, but this really has got a touch which is like an acoustic piano, and it reacts just like it."


Noriko Ogawa gives a piano lesson on Debussy's Arabesque No 1


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Over the years, a fair few digital pianos have tried and failed to match the authentic nature of acoustic pianos. The feel and weight of the piano keys have always been high up on the list of pianist's expectations when purchasing a piano - and rightly so. Because the AvantGrand is made using real wooden keys, it gives the player the same precise weight and responsiveness under their fingertips, as well as the same scope for expression. 

"If I play very strong, it comes out naturally louder. Not only just loud and soft, but it can actually create nuances. I'm really enjoying it. It's certainly made me think, 'wow, I could do with some practice on this piano!'" 


Watch Noriko give a piano lesson on Chopin's 'Minute' Waltz below...