Hungarian pianist and inventor Gergely Boganyi unveils his novel concept piano, offering a revolutionary new take on a classic musical instrument. Jim Drury reports.
UPSOT: PIANO Hungarian pianist Gergely Boganyi is one of Europe's leading pianists....he's also co-invented this piano which he thinks vastly improves the instrument's sound. UPSOT: PIANO Named after the pianist himself, the Boganyi is also known as the 'wonder piano'. It uses carbon composite instead of wood and has a cast iron frame. Its wide, curved legs double as sound deflectors, while the piano's traditional back leg has been axed altogether. Constructor Attila Bolega says almost all the piano's 18,000 components have been rethought. SOUNDBITE (Hungarian) CONSTRUCTOR ATTILA BOLEGA SAYING: "We opened up the cast iron frame. This part of a traditional piano is much more closed in. We opened it so that the sound can come through more easily." The strings are suspended, applying minimal pressure on the sounding board, which is made of at least 20 carbon composite layers. Boganyi says the piano produces a more powerful, balanced sound than that made by similar-sized, traditional models. SOUNDBITE (Hungarian) PIANIST GERGELY BOGANYI SAYING: "The first moment when I began to play I was in shock. I've never experienced such a feeling. I experienced a whole new spectrum of sound." UPSOT: PIANO Four-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist Gerald Clayton tried the Boganyi out for size at its Budapest unveiling. SOUNDBITE (English) NEW YORK JAZZ PIANIST GERALD CLAYTON SAYING: "The sound almost feels as if you're in like a bubble, it's so clear, I just felt that was the main thing. I would play something and it was almost shockingly clear." It's taken Boganyi and his team a decade to perfect their prototype and required more than a million dollars of funding, much of it from the Hungarian government. The piano will eventually go on sale for around a quarter of a million dollars. Despite the price tag, Boganyi says he's sure pianists will find the 'wonder piano' hits all the right notes.