The Story of the Yamaha Piano

The Yamaha brand is now known all over the globe- but it did not begin this way. Let's take a look at the story of the Yamaha Piano:

Miller Piano Specialists September 18, 2020 3 Min Read

You can hear an iconic Yamaha piano from concerts and places of worship to someone’s home. The Yamaha brand is now known all over the globe- but it did not begin this way. In reality, Yamaha’s success has been more than a hundred years in the making. Let’s take a look at the story of the Yamaha Piano:

Watch this video on The Yamaha Story:

The Beginning (1900-1949)

The story of the Yamaha Piano begins in the year 1900. The first piano made in Japan was in 1900 by Torakusa Yamaha, the founder of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. This corporation went on to be named the Yamaha Corporation. The first piano that Rakusa built was an upright piano, and two years later, Yamaha felt inspiration from the tones of its first grand piano. The company was mainly focusing on making pianos for the Japanese market because there was a new interest in Western classical music. Torakusu sent one of his pianos to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, where it received an Honorary Grand Prize.

By the 1920s, the Yamaha piano craftsmen learned more from European piano production techniques. In 1926, Yamaha invited Ale Schlegel to visit the craftsmen at the Nippon Gakki facilities in Japan. Ale Schlegel was an expert piano technician from Germany, and he offered Yamaha much insight. They discussed piano making in exhaustive detail, and Schlegel’s advice went into making an incredible product. 

Coming To The U.S.A. (1960 – 1969)

The 1950s consisted of new ideas for the Yamaha Paino. At the beginning of the 1960s, Yamaha created a new company in the U.S.A. to distribute its pianos: The Yamaha International Corporation. They were so successful that by 1965, Yamaha was producing more pianos than any other competitor.

In the next couple of years, Yamaha concentrated on building prototypes evaluated by several highly-regarded pianists. In November 1967, the C.F. concert grand piano unveiled during a banquet at Tokyo’s Hotel Okura. Wilhelm Kempff was the gentleman playing that evening, and went on to call it “one of the top pianos in the world.”

Beginning A Relationship (1970 – 1979)

The C.F. and C3 grand piano took the world by storm and with a little help of a relationship. During a concert in Padua, Italy, a Russian maestro, Sviatoslav Richter, first encountered a C.F. After playing and evaluating many pianos from different manufacturers during the rehearsal, the Russian maestro chose to play it again later that year at the Menton Music Festival in France. From that point forward, Richter was dedicated to playing Yamaha pianos. A relationship flourished with the Yamaha company that would last for the rest of Richter’s life.

New Ideas (1980 – 1989)

During the ’80s, Yamaha became inspired by the concert halls opening up all over Japan. Yamaha wanted to create a concert grand piano for the new generation. The C.F. was a success, so Yamaha’s craftsmen began developing a series of prototypes. After much crafting and evaluation, Yamaha introduced the CFIII in 1983. Of course, the piano was an instant success.

Yamaha Piano Today

In 1991, Yamaha reached a manufacturing milestone of five million pianos. Inspired from the C.F. and CFIII concert grand pianos, Yamaha also introduced the CFIIIS (which underwent two further upgrades in 1996 and 2000). In 1992, the “silent piano” made Yamaha’s popularity. This new piano allowed players to listen to the music they played and produced through headphones.

Today, the Yamaha Corporation is known as the largest musical instrument producer in the world. There are many production facilities around the globe, even outside of Japan. Yamaha is known as one of the finest piano makers of world-class. Even today, Yamaha continues to deliver excellence and quality in its pianos. 


For the past 100 years, Yamaha has delivered excellence in its instruments; And they haven’t stopped today. We hope you enjoyed reading the story of the Yamaha Piano. Are you interested in buying your dream Yamaha piano? We can help you. 

If you’re interested in buying a digital Yamaha piano, we are open! Our hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. We are happy to help you in person again, using all the guidelines we have been provided. We are here for you.

Share This!

© 2023 Miller Piano Specialists
Privacy Policy
Link to Call Miller PS