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Kawai America Corporation was presented with two 2016 MMR Magazine Dealers’ Choice Awards this weekend at the 2017 NAMM Kawai Awards Reception. They took home the wins for Product of the Year: Kawai GL Series, and Home Digital Keyboard of the Year: Kawai CA/CS Series. Hirotaka Kawai's full remarks at the reception follow:

Good evening.  First of all, I want to thank MMR Magazine for the wonderful awards they have presented to us tonight. We are extremely honored to receive them. And to all of you, thank you for joining us this evening.  It’s a pleasure to be with you again. 

It was in 1927 that my grandfather, Koichi Kawai, founded the Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory in Hamamatsu, Japan.  It was a humble beginning… with just seven co-workers. Now, ninety years later, his little company has grown into one of the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturers and a leader in the global music products industry. We have done this by preserving in our hearts Koichi’s core belief that “the never-ending quest for excellence would lead to success.” 

Ours is a story of generations striving continually for excellence.  The progress made possible my grandfather’s inventive genius would later be nurtured and expanded by my father, Shigeru Kawai, whose business skill and wisdom would elevate the Kawai company to worldwide prominence.  Today, I am honored to represent the third generation of this long and historic legacy.

Across the decades, we have never stopped learning and refining the essence of piano building. The techniques we acquired from Europe and around the world were carefully applied as we established our Ryuyo Factory in the 1980s. Since then, Kawai pianos have continued to be recognized as “evolving” pianos.  The honors we’ve received from across the globe are proof of our deep commitment to never-ending improvement. 

When world-famous Russian artist Maestro Mikhail Pletnev was inspired to resume his performing career in 2013 after playing our SK-EX Concert Piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, he reinforced our commitment to musical excellence.

When 1st prize winner Alexander Gadjiev and three other prize winners selected the Shigeru Kawai EX at the 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2015, they affirmed once again our evolution to the highest levels of performance.  

When the legendary Japanese artist Yoshiki performed on our Concert Piano in Carnegie Hall last week, he celebrated our status and reputation on the world stage. These are the fruits of a never-ending quest for perfection.  I pledge to continue this evolution forward and upward as we strive to provide you with the world’s finest pianos.  

This year, we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Kawai. Ninety-year anniversaries do not happen without partners. And piano companies cannot exist without exceptional dealers like the ones we have today – a group of dealers so supportive that they would make two of our digital piano lines – the CA and CS Series – the 2016 Home Digital Keyboards of the Year.  A group of dealers so loyal that they would choose our GL Series Grand Pianos (from among the countless thousands of products in the music business) to be the industry’s Number One “Product of the Year.”  A group of dealers so committed to our success that they would help us to receive 45 major international awards for excellence over the past 18 years.  This is the essence of partnership – colleagues continually working together to bring success to the other.

For these reasons, there is no better way to begin of the celebration of our 90th year than to spend this evening with you. Together, we are privileged to be part of an industry that brings joy and peace to the world.  Amid political disorder and quarrels between nations and cultures, the power of music can bring unity and peace across all borders.  As your partner in this great enterprise, I thank you for the immense impact you have on the world and on our company’s past, present and future.  On behalf of Kawai worldwide, “Arigato-gozai-mas” (thank you) and best wishes for success in the coming year.

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