MMR Reports from Music China
According to population statistics from a variety of sources, most estimates place Shanghai in the 20 million plus category, which makes it one of the eight largest cities in the world, behind Tokyo, New York, Mumbai, Sao Paolo, and a few others. This year’s Music China and ProLight & Sound Expos, which were held October 12 – 15 at the New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, reflected the vibrancy and growth of this major world business center. The 2010 edition of the Music China and ProLight and Sound show benefited from strong attendance and positive business attitudes as the gathering brought together exhibitors and attendees from around the world.
This year’s annual conference in was the largest in Asia, and featured a wealth of industry seminars, as well as a record breaking number of exhibitors (over 1,200 )from 27 countries for the Music China show and 400 exhibitors from 19 countries for ProLight and Sound. According to German piano manufacturer Burkhard Stein of Grotrian pianos, by exhibiting at the Music China show, his company has found success in selling high-end instruments into the Chinese market with the ultimate sales going to the burgeoning wealthy class of people who appreciate fine quality instruments with a well-known and respected brand name. Wolfgang Weiss of Thomastik-Infeld Vienna reflected a similar opinion in that Chinese musicians are looking for higher quality instruments and equipment and that they now have access to products that were not available only a few years ago. Dr. Frank Gebert, CEO of Louis Renner, manufacturer of piano actions, said “The most important players of the biggest market in the world are getting together, so we can discuss business in a very short period of time. China is the largest piano market in the world with growth of up to 500,000 pianos a year in the near future.”
Also on tap at the show were several NAMM University sessions, one of which featured their “Pearls of Wisdom” which included interviews with industry insiders, including Spanish guitar manufacturer, Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Import/export expert, Hap Kuffner, Chinese electronics manufacturer, Sheng Zifei of Medeli, Chinese retailer Liu Weiming, and Joe Lamond of NAMM. Mr. Rodriguez outlined his unique approach to marketing music which has included personally presenting many world leaders with his hand made classical guitars with along with his personal message which says, “We need music to help children learn math and other important subjects” When Rodriguez presented his instrument to the president of Uruguay, he responded by saying he wanted the best guitar teacher and wanted to students to have an opportunity to learn to play guitar as well. He also said that the Chinese people are thirsty to learn to play music, as there are an astonishing 30,000 classical guitar players in this great new market.