21 June 2016
With peacocks as its inspiration, Richard Kessler has designed this truly fantasy-like piano for the Austrian maker
'The Most Opulent Piano in the World'
To find inspiration for a new special edition piano, Bösendorfer collaborated with Richard Kessler, owner of the highly acclaimed Grand Bohemian boutique hotels and a passionate art collector, to create the Grand Bohemian piano – 'the most opulent piano in the world', says the company.
‘I was certainly surprised — and honored,’ Kessler says of the opportunity. ‘Bösendorfer is the premier instrument being made today, known for creating unique, hand-crafted instruments. My hotels are also highly-designed products, with art and music being a significant part of the brand. As an art collector myself, I already own several Bösendorfer instruments. Designing a piano with the company, along with my friend and international artist Franco Castellucio, has long been my dream. This namesake piano is a reflection of Bösendorfer’s limitless possibilities and, at the same time, is truly a collector’s piece of art.’
Since the company’s beginnings in 1828, Bösendorfer has remained unwaveringly committed to crafting the finest pianos in the world, but it also pays meticulous attention to the design of each individual instrument. This is clearly evident in past collaborations with traditional designers such as Anton Grosser and Theophil Hansen, as well as F.A Porsche and Audi, which have resulted in exciting new designs for such a majestic instrument.
The Grand Bohemian piano builds upon this legacy of deeply committed collaboration, and is as much a work of art as it is a musical instrument. Keeping the acoustic integrity of the piano intact was a key consideration. ‘It is essential for Bösendorfer to never compromise on the acoustic assembly of the instrument. This means that all core components – the soundboard, the heart of the piano, etc. – must never be modified,’ explains Simon Oss, premium piano marketing manager, Yamaha Corporation of America. ‘The exterior, on the other hand, provides unlimited creative possibilities, and the Grand Bohemian piano is a prime example of how traditional piano building craftsmanship seamlessly combines with magnificent design.’
The Grand Bohemian was inspired by a painting of a peacock and the collection of bronze sculpture Kessler owns. ‘I’m fascinated with the beauty and elegance of the peacock, and bronze was the perfect medium for the base of the piano,’ he says. ‘I approached its design the way we do hotels, starting with the seed of an idea, then building the story around the idea. We eventually chose this design because it is opulent, classic, and contemporary.’
The Kessler Design piano would look as at home in a mythical forest as an art museum or luxury penthouse, with a bronze-cast base evocative of tree branches and adorned with woodland creatures. A peacock, with feathers unfurled makes up the music stand, and the entire piano frame has been painstakingly covered by hand with gold leaf. LED lighting within the soundboard area and under lighting at the base give the piano an otherworldly glow – an appropriate finishing touch for such a grand instrument. It’s classical, yet edgy, with a distinctive Baroque funk factor, perfectly in tune with the Kessler Collection’s unique brand. ‘Designing this piano was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done,’ Kessler says proudly.
So, what’s the cost of this handsome instrument? The Bösendorfer Special Edition Kessler Design piano retails at $420,000 and is limited to only nine instruments. It’s available now in the USA (we have been told available soon in the UK).
Further information on Bösendorfer: