Conlon's Yamaha Disklavier

The Conlon Foundation acquired a new Yamaha Enspire Pro Disklavier in 2018 in partnership with Gaudeamus and with the generous support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds!  This instrument replaced the Yamaha-Disklavier DC3-Pro, also acquired with the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund's help, as well as support from the Yamaha Music Corporation in the Netherlands.

Before the development of the recent Yamaha-Disklaviers, early versions of this electronic form of the player piano were technically unreliable and 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.  Also, using midi-out can be employed for triggering video and/or live coding.                                                                           

For more information on the possibilities of the Yamaha Enspire Pro Disklavier:


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:

Background information


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.

Using the Disklavier of the Conlon Foundation

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 with questions about using the instrument.


Refer to the Conlon Disklavier handout and to Yamaha's own online manuals (link working in 2022).