The Conlon Foudation is the owner of a Yamaha-Disklavier DC3-Pro, which was acquired in 2002 with the help of The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund and the Yamaha Music Corporation in the Netherlands. Before the development of the latest Yamaha-Disklavier, early versions of what is, in essence, the electronic form of the player piano, were technically unreliable and often too limited in key-touch gradations and possibilities. The Yamaha Disklavier has been used for many years as a solo instrument by composers of contemporary music in all its facets, playing midi-files from formatted disks or from a computer connected by a midi-interface. More often, however, it has been used in combination with software using midi for live elecronics and/or with other acoustic instruments, midified or not. The model that Conlon owns is 186 cm long.
A number of other piano makers have introduced so-called player piano elements in their acoustic pianos, either with permanently attached or built-in units. There is also a company that builds a unit that can be built-in to any acoustic piano, Piano Disc.
There are more companies that produce these instruments, among which:
The earliest home piano playing devices, or vorseters, as they were called in Germany were stand alone devices that rolled up to the front of the piano, where the overhang containing the plungers could pushed down on the keys, quite literally piano players. These instruments remain interesting and very successful inventions. The advent of electronically controlled piano players, however, among which the Disklavier is one of the best, has made it possible to control the acoustic piano from the computer, through MIDI out and MIDI in, opening new perspectives for composers and musicians.
The Conlon Foundation offers the use of its Disklavier to composers, musicians, venues and conservatoriums for professional performances of existing literature for the instument and to stimulate the creation of new works. Composers can work with the instruments for a modest fee. For use by venues and conservatoriums and other institutions and for concerts in venues in the Netherlands special financial arrangements are made.
Independant composers can apply for a try-out session with the instrument for one time. Technical assistence from Conlon is not available in situ. If a longer period of use is desired, a fee will be determined.
Conservatoriums, schools and studio's can apply to use the Disklavier for projects or workshops with students. Conlon can offer introductory sessions for this purpose and provide artistic advice and coaching, as well as assisting with presentations and concerts, for example, in collaboration with new music venues in the Netherlands.
Conlon's Disklavier currently is placed at Muziekhuis Utrecht. Please contact Conlon at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about using the instrument. Also refer to the Conlon Disklavier documentation and the original manual of another (but very similar) type of Disklavier.