- Cyril Ehrlich
- , revised by Edwin M. Good
Japanese firm of instrument makers. Founded in 1927 and incorporated in 1951, Kawai was at the end of the 20th century the second largest producer of pianos in Japan, the world’s largest producer of that instrument. Manufacture of instruments gave way to military supplies during World War II but was resumed in 1948, and by 1963 an American branch was opened. Annual production rose from approximately 2000 instruments during the early 1950s to about 30,000 by the late 1960s; in 1990 total production reached 2 million. The headquarters are in Hamamatsu, with factories in Ryuyo and Maisaka. The firm has a piano assembly plant in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and a finishing plant in Greer, South Carolina; the Lowrey Organ Co. is a wholly-owned subsidiary. Kawai’s pianos have achieved a high reputation, the concert grand having been used in several international competitions. The company makes several excellent models of smaller grands, and a fine upright. In ...