Amidst the excited conversation at a private event at Westbank’s Oakridge Gallery, Paolo Fazioli slowly makes his way through the crowd of excited onlookers, a glass of Champagne in his hand. He pauses for photographs, handshakes and embraces. He is bespectacled, smartly dressed, and pulls up a stool at the side of the room – a concert on one of his namesake Fazioli pianos is about to begin.

paolo fazioli, manuel bernaschek, pianos, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr, vancouver, bc, yvr

The annual trip to Vancouver has become a precursor for a must-attend event for the city’s arts and culture patrons, collectors of Fazioli pianos, and young and professional pianists alike seeking acknowledgment from the man who continues to create beautiful works of art that are world-renowned.


As the founder of Fazioli Pianoforti, his work not only includes designing what is well known to be the world’s finest concert pianos but also testing each one before it is permitted to leave the factory. Fazioli’s eponymous company started from a desire to be greater than world-class.

In most industries, this is a lofty goal, especially in the world of high-end pianos, where existing piano makers had a hundred-year head start, it must have seemed near impossible.

As one of the top dealers in Fazioli pianos, Manuel Bernaschek of Showcase Pianos says he was drawn to the “special aura that surrounded the Fazioli piano.” He knew from the beginning that “there was something legendary about what Mr. Fazioli was doing – there was something perfect about his story of a pianist turned engineer that wants to enter the piano world at the very top. If anyone could pull this off, it would be someone who shared the same heritage as Cristofori and Stradivari – someone from the North of Italy with an inborn drive to reach perfection. Paolo Fazioli is exactly that man.”

paolo fazioli, manuel bernaschek, pianos, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr, vancouver, bc, yvr


With many Fazioli pianos envisioned, designed, and made to order, piano aficionados do not realize they may have crossed paths with one of these gorgeous instruments. There are five Fazioli in public areas in the city – Telus Garden, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Shangri-La Hotel, Deloitte Summit, and Sheraton Wall Centre.

The most accessible is in the open and airy Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, which attracts international visitors and locals who enjoy signature cocktails and bites by the fireplace. In this comfortable and sophisticated space, the bold white Origami piano (exterior designed by Joseph Wu), with intricate walnut inlay under the lid and the immediately recognizable FAZIOLI in gold on the side, is always the centre of attention.

The warm-tone natural Telus Garden piano is made from Douglas Fir, and the V-shape legs were designed to reflect the building’s repeating ‘V’ feature. It rests next to an indoor coy pond.

A black lacquer Fazioli at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel is the colour of dark, rich chocolate with a caramel tone to complement the hotel’s lush interiors.

paolo fazioli, manuel bernaschek, pianos, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr, vancouver, bc, yvr

The Butterfly piano was unveiled amid great fanfare as the centrepiece of Westbank Corporation’s ‘Fight for Beauty’ exhibit. It was designed by the iconic Bing Thom and currently resides in Westbank’s ‘Alberni’ building, which Kengo Kuma designed. Soon it will be moved to the private lobby of the Butterfly Building on Nelson Street.

The Butterfly is the first piano the company has crafted out of beech wood, reinforced by steel, and heavily enamelled. Paolo explained that “beech wood can be carved, warped, and bent” but is not strong enough to hold the piano’s guts without the steel. The Cloud is a Fazioli Model F228 semi-concert grand piano in black enamel enveloped in 450 mirrors that are mounted on steel rods representing the large square panels of the Deloitte Summit building.

paolo fazioli, manuel bernaschek, pianos, westbank, helen siwak, folioyvr, vancouver, bc, yvr


As a young man in Rome, Fazioli studied engineering first before completing a master’s degree in piano composition. Then, using the skills gained from his family’s experience in furniture production, he began designing piano prototypes before founding Fazioli Pianoforti in 1981 and claiming an underused family factory space in Sacile, a town 60 km’s northwest of Venice in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

Today, the 50-employee factory (which has its concert hall for testing newly completed units) produces approximately 150 pianos a year. According to Fazioli, there is little desire to expand production beyond this number.

“Maybe more is not better,” he explains. “If you want to maintain quality, you must maintain limited production. You must have control over every piece you are producing.” Fazioli’s key differentiator is his anti-industrialist view of piano production. Each piano is treated as an individual, not part of a line, and is subject to continuous experimentation and research by experts in the fields of wood material science, engineering, and design.

The average timeline for a piano to be completed is about two years. With ambitious projects on the horizon, Fazioli tempers his excitement with thoughts of where he is meant to be at his factory in Sacile. “In the future, my plan is to spend more time at home,” he says. He cites the department for research and development at the factory, which works in collaboration with a university in Milan, as a source of excitement and growth for the company. “We are always improving the sound of our piano and the quality of the instrument.”

It seems that as much as it is adored worldwide and played by legends like Angela Hewitt, Herbie Hancock, Nick Cave, and Chloe Flower, there will never really be the perfect Fazioli piano. But this notion of ‘perfection’ is one that Fazioli himself does not care for or believe, as every piano comes off the line more magnificent than the last.

Author Profile

Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at
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