SAN FRANCISCO (January 16, 2017) — Founded in 1921, Community Music Center (CMC) makes quality music education accessible to all in the San Francisco Bay Area through classes, tuition free programs and public performances with renowned musicians. They recently acquired a Yamaha CFX Concert Collection Grand Piano for their Mission District concert hall stage, and Canadian virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin presented a “Concert with Conversation” on the instrument in late October through CMC’s partnership with San Francisco Performances.
A search committee comprised of members of the CMC piano faculty, board and staff conducted a thoughtful selection process and considered several pianos before unanimously selecting the superlative nine-foot Yamaha CFX piano.
“We determined this piano was the best option available to accommodate and support the varied requirements and musical interests of our students, faculty and professional pianists,” says Christopher Borg, executive director of CMC. “In short, we’re thrilled and are very happy with our choice.”
The Yamaha CFX concert grand piano possesses a wide palette of tonal colors and the most expressive and subtle nuances which allow it to project over the sound of a symphony orchestra. This skillfully handcrafted instrument is the crowning glory of the Yamaha line of pianos, representing the culmination of numerous refinements in performance and appearance designed to achieve the highest standards of excellence.
The CFX will be used for public concerts in Community Music Center’s 130-seat concert hall and as the centerpiece of a new recording studio. The award-winning Venezuelan pianist and Yamaha Artist, Edward Simon, lives in the Bay Area and is a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. He prefers this CFX for regional concert appearances and recorded his most recent two CDs on it as well. Simon anticipates using it for recording sessions in the new CMC studio once the facility is completed.
The official unveiling ceremony of the Yamaha CFX was held on November 20 during CMC’s annual Field Day celebration honoring their founder, Gertrude Field. Field established the school to be “a provider of music that is not art for art’s sake, but art for life’s sake.” Field Day featured music for everyone with free performances, workshops and lessons at CMC’s Mission District Branch, and the school’s inaugural “Performathon” from noon to 5 p.m. Highlights included performances on the Yamaha CFX with the CMC Field Day Orchestra and CMC Field Day Choir.
“At the time the piano arrived, we knocked on the studio door of a 12-year old student who was having a lesson and invited him to be the first member of our community to play on this beautiful instrument. After hearing him play just a few measures, we felt confident in our decision that we had chosen the right piano, for the way it sounds and grand presence were engaging the full attention, excitement and musical sensitivity of the student,” Borg adds.
Over the past quarter century, all pianos acquired by CMC have been new Yamaha instruments from Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. CMC has purchased several Yamaha P-22 and U1 upright pianos and a number of digital keyboards for their practice rooms, as well as a Yamaha C2 grand piano. Acquisition of the CFX and a number of other Yamaha pianos was made possible by a generous gift from Piedmont Piano Company’s former CFO, Don Oestreicher, who included the CMC in his will.
About San Francisco Community Music Center
Community Music Center is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast. Their mission is to make music accessible to people of all ages, musical levels and financial backgrounds through classes, programs and concerts at two branches in the Mission and Richmond districts and throughout San Francisco. Each year, the non-profit music school and performance space provides classes to more than 2,400 students on 30 different instruments and a wide variety of musical genres. Thousands of people enjoy free and low-cost musical performances at CMC’s concert hall and throughout the city. Notable performers have included such luminaries as Jennifer Koh, Joe Pass, Marcus Roberts, Regina Carter, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Dr. Billy Taylor, the Kronos Quartet, Jack Benny, Arturo O’Farrill, Marc-André Hamelin and Andre Watts. CMC will award nearly $1.9 million in tuition assistance during the 2016-2017 school year. For more information, please visit http://sfcmc.org.