May 2012 Archives

Komaki Music Celebrates 80th Year

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Tokyo-based percussion specialist, Komaki Music, celebrated 80 years anniversary on March 29 at an Italian restaurant Diverta in Shibuya inviting over 100 industry guests and educators.

Founded in 1931 as Komaki Harmonica and Accordion Shop near Asakusa by Hachiro Komaki, the full-line music store shifted its gear to a percussion specialist under the leadership of Masaaki Komaki, son of Hachiro, as it purchased a building nearby the headquarters in 1985.

Komaki Music expanded its business as an exclusive distributor of established brands including Sonor in Germany. In 1989, the company launched Komaki Tsusho, trading division. Akira Komaki, the 3rd generation of the family, succeeded all responsibilities from Masaaki in 2004 after graduation from music conservatory and continuous study in Germany.

The guests for the night included Tadamichi Fukuda, chairman of Global Corp, Chikara Noguchi, professor emeritus of Tokyo College of Music and Karl Heinz Menzel, president of Sonor.

The reception party was followed by a special "Drum'N Groove" concert featuring 20 popular percussionists.

Boston Piano 20th Anniversary Models

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Steinway Japan introduced The Boston Blues models in celebration of 20 years birthday of the Boston piano.
They consist of 5 grand and 3 upright models, and a total of 160 units, which are 20 units for the individual models, will be built for distribution in the world markets.

Steinway & Sons has put up numerous commemorative models to the market from time to time in its long history. The first anniversary models of the Boston Piano come in deep blue that is brand color of the line. They feature same high luster-polished cabinet as the Steinway pianos hand-lacquered in Hamburg.

In addition to the Boston logo at the keyboard lid, they come with a 'Boston Piano Designed by Steinway & Sons' etching, and an inlaid Boston logo at the side of grand models.

Developed as the second brand of Steinway under the same design concept as Steinway pianos, the Boston piano manufactured by Kawai is highly acclaimed in Europe and U.S.  Steinway Japan plans to showcase the GP178, intermediate grand model traveling throughout Japan for the authorized Steinway dealers until the end of October.

Steinway Japan's New Marketing Approach

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When he took the presidential position of Steinway Japan in 2008, Kazuhiro Goto reorganized Steinway dealer network and implemented a new marketing strategy. He felt that biannual dealer meeting could be more interactive among 24 Steinway dealers. It can provide them with a more communicative space, he thought. "The point that makes the Steinway piano distinctive is maintenance services provided by the dealers after sales," he says. That is because the Steinway piano is built of natural materials for most critical parts.

Goto also brought off a new dealer agreement for larger D274 and C227 institutional and AS educational models which frees the dealers from having inventory of these pianos, but Steinway Japan is responsible for delivering pianos selected by customers through the local authorized dealers. In this business style, purchase and sale to institutions complete simultaneously that will guarantee the pianos regulated into best conditions, and delivered to the customers. In the past, unauthorized dealers could sell Steinway pianos supplied by authorized dealers in distant area. In many cases those dealers are unable to support the end user with technical services that only trained Steinway technicians can provide. The new agreement helps authorized Steinway dealers maintain their business while training qualified technicians. On the other hand, the agreement directs the authorized dealers to invest in sales floors, intensive training programs for technicians, and sometimes build an in-store studio. Steinway Japan hopes that these investments generate substantial profit for the dealers to sustain business.

In addition, the company has introduced a new brand-priority program with stricter logo protection on Steinway, Boston and Essex lines in distribution.              

As part of their efforts to increase awareness of Steinway piano, the company staged The 1st Steinway Competition in Japan finals with help of the authorized dealers on April 1 at Oji Hall, Tokyo. From over 400 contestants in 4 categories, 24 young pianists aged between 6 years old and 16 years old performed at the finals. The 4 winners are invited to play at International Steinway Festival held once every two years in Hamburg in September. It's a unique competition designed to judge performance not only by performing skills but also how the contestants enjoy playing for large audience and express pleasure of music making.

Japan Pavilion in 2012 Music China

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Japan Musical Instruments Manufacturers' Association has decided to organize Japan Pavilion in 2012 Music China. With financial support from Small and Medium Size Enterprise Agency and JETRO, JMIMA will offer a 9 sq. meter minimum exhibit space as well as customs, transportation and interpretation services for applied member companies. 2012 Music China takes place from October 11 (Thu.) through 14 (Sun.) in Shanghai.

Tokyo Guitar Show 2012

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Yamano Music stages 11th Tokyo Guitar Show 2012 on June 23 (Sat.) and 24 (Sun.) in cooperation with Fender Musical Instruments and Boss Corp. at new Bellesalle Shibuya Garden exhibition hall.

Moving to a new site with 50% larger exhibit space than before in Shibuya, the event is expected to attract larger crowds than previous years thanks to easy transportation and attractive location in fashionable shopping area in Tokyo.
The visitors are encouraged to experience the instruments on exhibit, and can buy them on site from the retail exhibitors. It provides a host of live music for musicians and guitar enthusiasts. 

The 2011 Show drew 4,200 visitors, and sold 159 guitars and basses valued at 63 million yen.