Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec

Posted by: Campanella12

Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/04/10 08:04 PM

Dear Pianoworld Community,

we would like to invite you to a "virtual" online fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA, Basilios A. Strmec, this Friday, May 7th, from 5-6 pm EST.

We would like this to be a chance for us to directly communicate a little bit more about our company and brand. Mr. Strmec will answer questions that would be posed during the fireside. In order to use the time well, we would encourage you to post questions of interest beforehand or PM such questions to campanella12.

Sincerely,

Paula Thompson
Operations Manager

Hailun USA
Posted by: FogAudio

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/05/10 01:52 AM

Hi Ms. Thompson,

Is this webcast available from the hailun-pianos.com website? Also, is it going to be archived on your website for viewing at other times?

My questions:

How did Hailun Chen forge his relationships with the cast of characters which represent his international "mutt" squad of engineers. Was it pure serendipity?

Are there sound snippets of the "pedale harmonique" available? Or is it ever going to be built-into Hailun branded instruments (I understand it is only in Wendl & Lung for now).


Thank you,
Ryan Fogarty
--
Hailun HG-218
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/06/10 04:13 PM

Dear Mr. Fogarty,

the "virtual fireside" will be held live on pianoworld this Friday, May 7th, from 5-6 pm. Mr. Strmec will share a little more about some projects that are in the works and answer questions that we have received from other participants. We invite interested participants to log on during that time and pose questions or submit them ahead of time. Mr. Strmec will answer "live". We hope this will be worthwhile and useful experience.

Sincerely,

Paula Thompson
Operations Manager

Hailun USA
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 09:22 AM

I have PM'ed you a particular question I have for Mr. Strmc concerning an issue with Hailun pianos.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 11:41 AM

My question is if there really will be a crackling fireside and wine being served...

Norbert grin
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 02:26 PM



Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:30 PM

This is a picture taken during a Quality Sensitivity Training (QST) Session in April 2010.


Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:34 PM

This is a picture of Mr. Keith Bowman who is a member of the Hailun Technical Circle explaining some quality details on a Hailun Grand Piano to the department heads of Hailun Factory.


Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:38 PM



Building a Hailun piano is very much a hands on process. Here is one our colleagues at work.

Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:44 PM


Some very special skill and attention is required for this task:

Posted by: MarcoM

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:47 PM

very cool pics, thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 04:50 PM

Hailun Engineers with Translators

Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:07 PM

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Piano Enthusiast on Pianoworld,

We thought that it would be nice to provide the opportunity to answer questions on Pianoworld. In general, it is our policy to not post or get involved on this forum.- but felt that it would be helpful to provide a little more insight into Hailun.
I am responsible for the U.S. distribution of Hailun product. Hailun USA is a legally independent company from Hailun Piano Company and when I refer to “we” and “us” subsequently it is for simplicity’s sake. I would like to add two disclaimers: First, in the interest of being able to answer swiftly someone else will is typing my responses. Given that English is not my native language, there will be mistakes in grammar, style and punctuation. We will revisit our posting later and edit appropriately. Please overlook them in the meantime.
Secondly, there might be some topics or questions that I will not address due to corporate reasons.

We have received some questions (most of them today) and I will answer them first . Please feel free to post additional questions. Any questions, that we run out on time today- I will still answer later.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:12 PM

One of the first questions we received is from a participant in Canada. His question is:

Is there a special Hailun sound?
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:15 PM

This is a really good question – and one that usually onaly manufacturers considered to be among the best- ask themselves. Hailun’s philosophy really is different from many other Asian manufactures. There are some really well built pianos that are in essence excellent copies of designs of more established brands and their pianos. Hailun is different in that we invited some of the most respected piano engineers to do “their own thing”.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:17 PM

Let me give you two examples:

Mr. Stephen Paulello designed the Hailun Grand 218 which has been very positively received among institutions. The design is an original and you can see that when you look at different features of the scale design and how some technical issues have been addressed. Mr. Paulello is a concert pianist as well and approaches his piano design from that unique perspective. However, Mr. Paulello himself was significantly shaped as an apprentice at the Bechstein Factory and his tonal preference reflects that.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:22 PM

Another example is Frank Emerson. Mr. Emerson worked for many years with Baldwin - a company that was synonymous with the American sound tradition and beloved by many, many artists. Frank designed the Hailun Grand 198 which is very popular with our retail customers that are advanced players. The 198 certainly has that warm and yet strong sound that Baldwin exemplified during its golden years. And yet the Hailun Grand 198 is a newly designed piano – created by Mr. Emerson based on his accumulated experience.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:24 PM

So when it comes to sound- both instruments the Hailun Grand 218 and the Hailun Grand 198 represent two very different sound inclinations. And yet both are musically very convincing.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:27 PM

However, in general I believe that Hailun grands have a warmer character - and with lush lower octaves.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:31 PM

The next part is about how Hailun Chen came about his international “mutt” team of engineers? And the story behind it.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:34 PM

The answer to the question certainly involves on a personal level the drive and willingness to take risks on Mr. Chen’s part….and then some serendipity. Together with his wife, Faye Chen, Mr. Chen succeeded already at becoming a supplier to other piano manufacturers that was respected for the accuracy and reliability of its production. From a business perspective, the factory had developed a core competency in production long before it was decided to venture forward from being a supplier to becoming a piano manufacturer in its own right. The significant facilitating event that transformed the company was the meeting of Mr. Chen with the owners of Wendl & Lung from Vienna, Austria (WL). WL was a respected and old piano manufacturer in its 4th generation in Vienna. However, in order to compete with Boesendorfer or Schimmel, WL simply lacked the necessary economies of scale.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:38 PM

Thus Peter Veletzky and Ernest Bittner and his wife Lin Bittner, the owners of WL decided to seek to transfer their know how, production patterns, etc to Mr. Chen with an agreement that WL would be able to supply the European market. Over time both parties came to realize that the chemistry was right, and that they could work well together. I think that cooperation was a milestone in the development of Hailun. It also opened the European market. Keep in mind that Mr. Chen owned his factory outright and was not government controlled- so the factory developed a keen awareness that it can only succeed if it listens carefully to its customers. Subsequently, Mr. Chen brought Mr. Emerson on board who had worked for Baldwin and later for Mason & Hamlin. Thus the groundwork had been laid and other specialists followed (Mr. Zlatkovic from Austria, Mr. Paulello from France, etc.).
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:43 PM

Maybe one more aspect – that is worth mentioning: everyone who has had a chance to live in a different country knows that it is more than just a different language that makes communication and working together difficult. In the case of Hailun Piano Company foreign engineers spent quite some time there. For instance, Mr. Emerson flies to China 6 times a year and stays for up to 4 weeks. Mr. Veletzky does the same. So there needs to be a certain level intercultural sensitivity that allows all participants to enjoy working together. The wider Hailun team brings such a quality to the table and you can not emphasize that skill enough when working over continents, cultures, and languages.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:46 PM

The next question was in regards to the Pedale Harmonique. This was developed by Wendl & Lung and remains a special feature of only WL. Such instruments can be obtained through us and there are some in Canada already.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:47 PM

Another question from a Pianoworld Member in Florida:

When is a Hailun Concert Grand coming out?
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:50 PM

Well, the fact is that Hailun already has a concert grand that was designed and several have already been built. It is the Hailun Grand 277. However, we have not released it to the market. I guess, our hesitancy with presenting a concert grand centers simply around the fact that a concert grand is a major statement for a company. We discussed presenting it at NAMM, and we had already informed some of our Authorized Merchants about it. But during my trip to our factory, I listened to it and it just did not sound as inspiring as it should. We then agreed that Mr. Emerson would change some details. However, those were not implemented in time to come to NAMM.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:50 PM

Some consumers might ask themselves why does it take so long to get it right. The answer is that designing a grand piano includes quite a litany of trial & error runs. I have been personally involved in the launch and market introduction of seven piano models and one piano application. One of these instruments was a concert grand- and it took us quite some time to come to the point where we “were happy”.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:55 PM

Maybe, I should also define what “being happy” means in this context. The process of evaluating especially a concert grand should and must be completely detached from design and production. While I love piano music, and attended hundreds of concerts, and believe that I have an ear for a good instrument, it ultimately takes committed pianists to play the piano and explore its possibilities. Professional pianists and piano performers hear differently and they look for different things in the piano.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 05:56 PM

They are also capable of detecting sections of sound that have different colors or other differing in some other quality. We have been engaging testing the new concert grand and inviting pianists to give us structured feedback. We have an influential piano professor and performer from the University of Kansas who will be visiting and have a chance to play the concert grand at our factory. So – I guess the short response to your question is: If all goes well the Hailun Concert Grand will be presented at NAMM 2011.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 06:01 PM

In wrapping up: We posted several pictures from our most recent trip to China. The first two pictures were taken during a Quality Sensitivity Training Session. Mr. Keith Bowman and Mr. Mike Carraher presented the material to the heads of the piano deparments. I am aware of other Asian companies doing quality work but I believe that Hailun is the only one- or one of the very few- that go to this length.

I have two more questions left.
Posted by: Campanella12

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 06:05 PM

One is from Mr. McBiff - which I will answer in a Private Message and the other one has to do with Hailun's action design for which I will consult one of our engineers and reply also in a private message.

Again, please forgive the many typos. We will clean them up in the next week.

Hope- this was a interesting to some of you.
Posted by: Av8rTim

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/07/10 07:33 PM

I am currently searching for my first piano and would like to thank you for the background information and intro to Hailun.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Virtual Fireside with the CEO of Hailun USA- Basilios Strmec - 05/15/10 11:41 AM

"Are there sound snippets of the "pedale harmonique" available? Or is it ever going to be built-into Hailun branded instruments (I understand it is only in Wendl & Lung for now)."

I heard it a week ago and I also made a recording then. Here is a snippet

pedal harmonique sample

BTW the first half a second is without the pedal