The company made its name producing the Pianola, a pneumatic player piano developed in 1897 by Edwin Votey, 1983 suffering a financial crisis, the company was sold to the former president of Steinway, Peter Perez. Perez worked hard to market the company’s chief assets-the names Chickering, Mason and Hamlin, and Knabe-and was able to run … Read more How Old is my Aeolian Piano?
August Forster currently produce six models of upright piano from 4 feet, 6 inches (116cm) high to 4feet, 9 inches (125cm) high, and five models of grand piano ranging from 5 feet, 7 inches (170cm) to 9 feet (275cm) long. Essentially a conventional grand piano, the Elektrochord used two strings per note, except for the … Read more How Old is my August Forster Piano?
To increase the volume and the fullness of tone they designed an upright piano in which the soundboard could be extended to fill the entire case, rather than just to the height of the pin block, as is the case of other pianos. This, in effect, means that a piano can be 10 inches (25cm) … Read more How Old is my Astin-Weight Piano?
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Baldwin Piano Company acquired 42 companies, including those involved in finance and electronics, becoming Baldwin United. In 1963, they acquired Bechstein, the well-loved German firm; this association, which was the last until 1987, gave them an international piano service for concert artists. In 1965 they produced their first concert … Read more How Old is my Baldwin Piano?
Like all piano makers, Bechstein was affected by the Great Depression of the 1930s. In addition to this, the introduction in 1933 of the unpopular “neo-Bechstein” grand piano- in which fewer strings were used per note, strung over an amplified soundboard- had an adverse effect on the company and in that year Bechstein only produced … Read more How Old is my Bechstein Piano?
Although the first Bentley pianos appeared in showrooms in 1930, the man behind this popular English make, Douglas Grover, was already a third-generation piano maker. In 1993 Whelpdale Maxwell & Codd, Ltd., acquired the Bentley Piano Company, and production was moved to their factory in South London. British Piano Manufacturing, Ltd., formed in 2000, today … Read more How Old is my Bentley Piano?
Bluthner was reprivatized in 1989, and its pianos, cherished by music lovers everywhere, are still manufactured in Leipzig under the directorship of Julius Bluthner’s great-great grand son of Ingbert, and his son’s Christian and Knut. The aliquot scaling system uses a fourth string located above the treble strings, which is not struck by the hammer … Read more How Old is my Bluthner Piano?
Until the mid-1920s, Bosendorfer made only a few hundred pianos a year; this production fell rapidly during the Great Depression and ceased altogether in the final years of the Second World War, when the company’s offices were destroyed by heavy fighting, and its wood reserves and pianos used for firewood. Revival in the postwar period … Read more How Old is my Bosendorfer Piano?
The Boston Piano Company was formed in 1991 in a collaboration between Steinway & Sons and Kawai, with the aim of producing a top-quality instrument at a mid-range price. Drawing on the experience of Steinway, development of the piano took six years to complete, using sophisticated computer technology to test the designs and materials. Dates … Read more How Old is my Boston Piano?
With extensive restructuring, and changing production between grand, upright, and player pianos to suit the changing times, Broadwood and Sons has survived, marking an incredible 260-year history. Today broadwood pianos are made by the British Piano Manufacturing Company, founded in 2000 in Stroud, who also make pianos to the specifications of other English firms such … Read more How Old is my Broadwood & Sons Piano?
Since 1986, Challen pianos have been assembled in western Malaysia by Musical Products Sdn. Bhd, the factory division of Vienna Music Sdn. Bhd. Dates and serial numbers when the pianos were manufactured 1850 3200 1860 6100 1870 9650 1880 14220 1890 19480 1900 26260 1910 31309 1920 35814 1930 43205 1940 66482 1950 73043 1960 … Read more How Old is my Challen Piano?
The Phillips Record Company bought the Chappell Company in 1968 for £17.5 million (US$25.5). Owned by Warner Chappell Kemble produced the Chappell, pianos under license until 2000 (Warner continue to hold sole rights). Chappell of Bond Street still exists as a music and instrument retailer. Dates and serial numbers when the pianos were manufactured 1840 … Read more How Old is my Chappell & Company Piano?
Erard made his first square pianos in Paris, France, in 1777. Erard history after 1914 is one of decline. Not only did the company feel the effect of two world wars and the Great Depression, but German and American pianos are also presented a new ideal in piano making. Another great French maker, Pleyel, joined … Read more How Old is my Erard Piano?
In 1883 that a musical instrument retailer, John Church Company, started producing small quantities of uprights and grand pianos under the name of Everett. In 1973 Everett was sold to the Yamaha Corporation. They modernized the South Haven plant to produce both Everett and Yamaha upright pianos. Production at the Everett factory ceased in 1986, … Read more How Old is my Everett Piano?
Owned by PianoDisc. The company was set up in 1984 by an Italian-born piano technician, Santi Falcone, whose aim was to produce an affordable grand piano of the highest quality that would compete with the world’s finest makers. Santi Falcone sold his business in 1991 to businessman Bernard Greer and the Falcone name was incorporated … Read more How Old is my Falcone Piano?
Fazioli pianos are still handmade and a successful move to a purpose-built factory in the summer of 2001 saw production increase from 80 to 120 instrument a year. The new site also includes a test and research area, and a concert hall. The 10-foot, 3-inch (308cm) grand is the largest concert piano available today. It … Read more How Old is my Fazioli Piano?
In July 1991 the Bechstein Group bought a majority shareholding in the Euterpe Piano Company. Feurich remained autonomous and, finding a factory just 3 miles (5km) away, spent much of the 1990s gradually increasing production. Today, with a steady output of upright and grand pianos from the Gunzenhausen factory, Feurich is planning the production of … Read more How Old is my Feurich Piano?
Founded in Paris in 1847 by Joseph Gabriel Gaveau, this French firm was to gain an excellent reputation for high-quality harpsichords, and in particular small upright pianos. By 1907, when Gaveau was passed to the founder’s son, Etienne, the firm was producing and selling over 1,000 pianos a year. Etienne Gaveau expanded the factory and … Read more How Old is my Gaveau Piano?
Grotrian’s business interests took him to Moscow, where he established a successful retail concern. When he returned over a decade later to his native Germany, he founded a new piano-making partnership with Heinrich’s son, Carl Friedrich Theodore Steinweg. The moved production to Braunschweig and forged a successful business making quality pianos. Heinrich Steinweg, meantime, have … Read more How Old is my Grotrian-Steinweg Piano?
Ibach characterize their sound as being firm and transparent in the bass section, rich and warm in the tenor, and with a pearl-like singing tone in the treble, which is maintained at all volumes. Producing a variety of upright and grand pianos, all Ibach instruments are made predominantly by hand. As well as producing a … Read more How Old is my Ibach Piano?
Irmler had achieved a good profitable export business, particularly to North America, and they also had a steady home market. However, as other German makers were invading their home territories, Irmler quickly had to develop more aggressive tactics in selling their pianos and keep apace with the most advanced ideas of the time. In 1861 … Read more How Old is my Irmler Piano?
In 1980 a 300,000-square-foot factory was built, capable of producing sixty grand pianos a day. In 1989 the company presidency was passed to Shigeru’s son, Hirotaka Kawai, who has since invested millions of dollars to introduce robotic technology into the production process. In the last ten years, production sites have been established outside Japan, in … Read more How Old is my Kawai Piano?
In the early 1980s Kemble came within the whisker of closing, but at the last minute won the biggest contract to build pianos in the U.K. industry, making the Dietman range of pianos for Ibach. In 1984 Kemble fund itself in difficulties once again and once more Yamaha heavily invested … Read more How Old is my Kemble Piano?
In 1959 the Jasper Corporation, a manufacturer of office furniture, bought the company and later changed its name to Kimball International. Its staff had no previous experience of producing pianos, and this showed, with over half of all the piano produced being returned to the factory. Production techniques did improve and were further aided … Read more How Old is my Kimbal Piano?
Despite the takeover and the formation of the Knabe Brothers Company, Knabe continued to sell their pianos and by 1916 production had reached 3,000 pianos a year. The American Piano Company became part of the Aeolian Corporation in 1932, and continued to produce upright and grand pianos until Aeolian’s collapse … Read more How Old is my Knabe Piano?
The Knight iron frame offers twice the strength of those in an average piano. It is a full-perimeter frame built on a girder principle that is secured to a four-post beech back. The pin block is fitted in a pocket cast into the frame for exceptional tuning stability. There is no treble stress bar in … Read more How Old is my Knight Piano?
Ronisch prospered between the wars, but the company’s Dresden factory was destroyed in bombing raids in 1945, and production was moved to Hupfeld’s Leipzig factory. The following year Leipzig Pianofortefabrik was born, and by 1986 annual output stood at 8,600. Following German Reunification in 1990, the production process was reorganized and the range redesigned. … Read more How Old is my Leipziger Pianofortefabrik Piano?
In 1985, after the demise of Aeolian, Mason & Hamlin was acquired by the Sohmer Company, which was in turn acquired by Falcone Piano Company in 1989. In 1995, Mason & Hamlin Companies (including Knabe, Falcone, and Sohmer), which had emerged after the buyout in 1991, filed for bankcruptcy and was rescued … Read more How Old is my Mason & Hamlin Piano?
New factories were built, first in 1970 to increase production of upright pianos, and then in 1989 a second plant to concentrate on the grand piano market. By 1990 serial numbers had reached 450,000. Petrof currently produces around 12,000 uprights and 1,750 pianos a year, and employs 1,000 people. Tovarna na piano, established in 1997, … Read more How Old is my Petrof Piano?
In 1934 Pleyel acquired the firm of Antoine Bord. In 1961, facing financial difficulties, the firm merged with the combined firms of Erard and Gaveau. This conglomerate was acquired in 1971 by the Shimmel Company, which produce a small number of Pleyel pianos each year. Then in 1994, the Rameau company bought the names … Read more How Old is my Pleyel Piano?
Founded in 1958 by chairman Hyo Ick Lee, the company swung into full production of upright pianos under the brand name Horugel. This name would be used until the 1970s, when the Samik brand was introduced. A leading light in its domestic market, Samik became, in 1964, the first Korean company to export pianos, sending … Read more How Old is my Samik Piano?
The company’s reputation was firmly established by the time Carl Sauter III took charge in the 1960s. But he was dissatisfied with the notable differences in repetition speeds between the upright and grand actions, and he led the development of an improved action known as the R2, for the upright range. A new factory was … Read more How Old is my Sauter Piano?
A reputable clavichord maker, Balthasar Scheidmayer is reported to have made his first grand piano in 1735 at Erlangen in Germany. To the end of the century both Schiedmayer firms would continue to build on their success of their forefathers, independently achieving recognition for their fine instruments. In 1969 the two branches merge and produced … Read more How Old is my Scheidmayer & Sohne Piano?
Nikolaus Wilhelm Schimmel’s succession to the company’s leadership in 1961 saw the traditions of this fine German house pass on seamlessly to the third generation. A new factory was built in 1966 and a decision was taken to erect a new plant containing a concert hall and exhibition area; this grand project was finally completed … Read more How Old is my Schimmel Piano?
The company is still owned by members of the Seiler family, Ursula and Manuela, who are dedicated to preserving this make’s individual sound. Over the last five years, Seiler have re-analyzed their range of pianos to improve the quality of sound and the manufacturing process. Seiler’s Membrator System (a specially tapered soundboard) and Tonal … Read more How Old is my Seiler Piano?
The Steinway family sold the firm to C.B.S. in 1972. In 1985 it was sold to Steinway Musical Properties, Inc., who brought in engineers from non-piano-making backgrounds to find the right balance between modern engineering and traditional handcrafted methods, in an effort to streamline the manufacturing process. This … Read more How old is my Steinway & Sons Piano?
Heinrich Hermann, Burkhard’s son-in-law, became head of the firm in 1920 and his nephew Heinrich Schmidt took the reins in 1951. The Schmidt-Steingraeber family still runs the company today. In 2002 Steingraeber & Sohne unveiled a new concert grand, in celebration of their 150-year jubille, with the serial number 44000. Steingraeber & Sohne make custom-made … Read more How old is my Steingraeber & Sohne Piano?
All Stuart pianos are custom-made by Piano Australia Pty Ltd, who also manage the sales and the service. With each handmade piano taking about a year to complete, output is small, and most of the instruments are built to order. Production of Welmar upright pianos continued at the London factory until 2000, when the Whelpdale, … Read more How Old is my Stuart & Sons Piano?
In 1987, to celebrate its centennial, Nippon Gakki change its name to the Yamaha Corporation. Today it is the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world, producing about 130,000 pianos a year. Dates and serial numbers when the pianos were manufactured 1920 2100 1930 10163 1940 31900 1950 44200 1960 122000 1970 980000 1980 … Read more How old is my Yamaha Piano