With 60,000 square feet of exhibit space, Parsons had the largest presence
at the Music China fair.
Yangtze River Piano spotlighted at
Music China’s biggest exhibit
At 60,000 square feet—more than a full acre—Parsons Music had the largest presence of any company at the 2014 Music China fair in Shanghai. As one of China’s major manufacturers and distributors, its exhibits featured pianos from Fazioli, Kawai, and Wilhelm Steinberg; world class m.i. brands including Orange amps, Hughes & Kettner, and Ludwig; and the entire family of Conn-Selmer products. Undoubtedly the centerpiece for Parsons, however, was the Chinese-made Yangtze River Piano, which made an impact at the recent International Piano Concerto Competition in Shenzhen. Introduced to the market just four years ago, the Yangtze River Piano was praised at the competition by renowned pianists Yundi Li and Liu Shikun, and chosen by four out of six finalists for their most crucial performances. At Music China the Yangtze River line only added to its credentials, gaining the endorsement of the piano sensation Xue Xiaoqui among other accolades.
“Through years of effort from our team, we’ve enhanced our technology and craftsmanship to take our pianos to a very high level,” says Parsons Music co-CEO Terence Ng. “No matter how young this piano is, it is strong evidence that we have the ability to produce a performance-grade piano to international standards.”
Speaking of young, Yangtze River’s newest endorser is among the brightest in a new generation of Chinese concert pianists. Now age 25, Xue Xiaoqui was just 17 when he won the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition in the U.S., and just 18 when he became the youngest classical pianist ever to sign with Universal Music Group. In 2010 his first album, The Magic Finger went platinum in China, and his first original album, Silent Music, was released a year later. At an endorsement ceremony during Music China, Ng extolled the artist’s “young, positive, and enthusiastic image,” combined with his “passion and professional attitude toward music”—adding, “This exactly matches what the Yangtze River Piano represents. This endorsement is a union of two strong parties, representing unlimited development potential, that will show the world Yangtze River is a first-class Chinese piano.”
As Parsons gave Yangtze River one of its biggest showcases yet, the pianos were played and reviewed by several other prominent artists. Among them were Shi Shu-Cheng, acclaimed as both a pianist and conductor; Dan Zhao-Yi, president of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music; and Li Ming-Qiang, a renowned pianist and music professor for decades. “We received a lot of praise for the quality of these Chinese-made pianos,” says Ng. “This is the kind of positive information that spreads to the market and makes more people open to purchasing the piano—which offers them a good quality instrument at an affordable price.”
Also China’s largest music retailer, with nearly 100 locations in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Parsons has become probably the nation’s leading player in the music products market. While its focus on pianos reflects China’s status as the world’s largest piano market, the company has also grown into a source for guitars and combo gear. Drawing from its own guitar operation, the Ronisch Sejung Guitar Factory, Parsons came to Music China with a selection of guitars designed with elements from Chinese art: Qin dynasty coins, Han Dynasty chime bells, Tang Dynasty glazed pottery vases, and Yuan Dynasty Green Flower Porcelain. Visitors to the booth even put in custom orders for guitars with artistic details from their own cultures. “The creative match of Western guitars and Chinese art caught the eye of many music lovers,” says Ng. Elsewhere in Parsons’ popular music exhibits, the company staged performances from Swedish guitarist Robert Marcello, Korean guitarist James Kim, and Hong Kong drummer Gould Wu—using gear from Hughes & Kettner, Orange, and Ludwig respectively. As Ng says, “We were proud to have some amazing performances and some very excited crowds.”
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