Grand pianos and uprights still belong to the dominant instruments of musical life. It is not a surprise that piano playing motivates and inspires. It frees from stress, opens hearts and souls and inspires the joy of life. Piano playing is at the same time relaxing. It helps sin, soul, concentration and meditation. It leads us to our own depth, and conveys skills and possibilities to lead a sinful life. Active listening and contact with other people are a part of this. Piano playing promotes the general perception and receptivity to experiences, as well as social sensitivity and creativity. Piano playing generates joy and richness. It gives motivation, inspiration, calmness and harmony. Due to these reasons, piano playing remains modern. A main precondition for all fine pianos as they are made in Europe.
The keyboard is the face of pianoforte instruments. It offers access to the instruments and convey what the hands play to the grand or upright piano’s hammering mechanism. Each and every key must react to the intentions of the pianist. The Klaviaturenfabrik Kluge (Kluge Keyboard Factory) has been devoted to such precision for 175 years. The company, which was under the leadership of the founding family until 1998, has been a member of the Steinway Group since 1999.
Steingraeber & Söhne in Bayreuth celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary. On this occasion, Udo Schmit-Steingraeber greets four hundred guests of honour at the Margravial Opera House for a gala concert with Cyprien Katsaris. Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Kurt Masur and Federal President Johannes Rau are among the well-wishers. For the jubilee, Steingraeber commissions a stage play. The author, Uwe Hoppe, writes the one-person play “Der Walkürenritt – oder man müsste Klavierspielen können” (Ride of the Valkyries – or one must be able to play the piano) which was often performed in Germany and Switzerland.
In 2002, the Bösendorfer Piano Factory, which is rich in tradition, receives a very special honour. In recognition of the extraordinary achievements in the Austrian economy, Bösendorfer was awarded the Austrian Coat of Arms by the Federal Minister of Economics and Labour. In 2010, the administration, distribution marking and the Bösendorfer showroom relocate from the location in New Vienna to production facilities in Wiener Neustadt located 50 kilometres away from Vienna, where the instruments have been produced since 1973. Today, as a member of the global corporation Yamaha Corp., Bösendorfer continues in the same manner to maintain the art of building illustrious instruments with excellent workmanship, love for design, friendship with artists and naturally the traditions of piano craftsmanship handed down through the generations.
The success story of Blüthner began in 1853. The Julius Blüthner Piano Factory has delivered over 150,000 instruments worldwide since its founding. Today, 150 years later since its founding in Leipzig, it presents itself as an incredibly dynamic company which is family owned. Dr. Christian Blüthner supervises the globally established distribution network and the numerous subsidiaries on every continent.
140 years after the development of the first Petrof grand piano, Zusana Ceralová Petrofová becomes a member of Petrof management, and shortly after, president of the company. In the same year, new constructions of grand and upright piano designs begin. Five years later, the entire range of new grand pianos is on the market. During this period, the establishment of a distribution company in the United States of America takes place and further expansion of their sales activities.
Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová
In November 2006, Paulo Fazioli celebrates the 25th anniversary of his company establishment. What had begun over three hundred years ago in Italian Florence with the first “gravicembalo col piano e forte” can be found again in the present in Fazioli grand pianos: Passion for the hammer piano. Presently, around 110 to 120 instruments are produced on a yearly basis. The collaboration with renowned higher education institutions within the scope of research and development projects is proof that quality and product improvement still are of significant importance. Today, grand pianos from Fazioli in all sizes are top products worldwide.
For 125 years, the company Louis Renner shapes the technical development of the piano industry as a pioneer. Today, Renner is established worldwide as a leading manufacturer of actions and hammer heads. Also in the 21st century, it remains a main strategic goal to maintain and improve the excellent quality of Renner products. Since 2010, Clemens von Arnim manages the company. Under his leadership, Renner is more committed to its strategic goals than ever.
The name Röslau has an excellent reputation throughout the world because the steel strings by Röslau are of recognised quality. For 125 years, Röslau has been familiar with the secrets of producing steel strings for grand and upright pianos. High-strength material, carefully drawn, and precisely calibrated in fine graduations. That is also the basis of good sound.
The 160th anniversary of Seiler, taking place in 2009, happens at a time of global transition within the piano industry At the same time, the long-lasting tradition of Seiler and the brand name’s good reputation have proven themselves anew. Thereby, in 2008, the piano factory finds a new shareholder, the Korean Samick Musical Instruments Co Ltd., which is one of the largest manufacturers of grand and upright pianos in the world. Under their leadership, the history of Seiler instruments continues.
175 years after the founding of Ferd. Thürmer Pianofortefabrik, the connection between instrument manufacture and giving concerts, the direct contact between artists and piano manufacture is typical for the company. In the company building in Bochum, the concert hall and the workshop are adjacent to one another. The intensive exchange between performers and manufacturers brings about excellent instruments. At the former company headquarters in Meissen, the company celebrates its 10th anniversary of the Pianoforte Museum established by Jan Thürmer
Since 2009, the name brand Rönisch has gone back to its roots. After the takeover by Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH (Grosspösna near Leipzig), the company operates under the name “Carl Rönisch Pianofortemanufaktur GmbH” and was founded 150 years ago. It is not only the name of the founder, but particular the tradition of the name brand, which Rönisch instruments presently characterise and are reasons for its wonderful position in today’s markets of Europe, Asia, America, Australian and New Zealand.
Maintaining the craftsmanship which Förster has developed over 150 years of building pianos plays a role in the indispensable principles of the piano maker family. Annekatrin Förster also abides by these principles; she took over the legacy from her father, Wolfgang Förster, in 2008 and is the fifth generation to manage the family in an uninterrupted family tradition. Composers and directors from around the world confirm this success. Already Puccini composed his world famous opera “Tosca” and “Madam Butterfly” among other things on an August Förster instrument.
Regardless of having to do with a grand piano, an upright piano, high-quality furniture, or a relocation, at M+S Piano-Express, your goods always travel first class. The years from 2009 to 2012 are shaped by structural changes. Thus, JCL AG with headquarters in Austria took 74.9 % of the shares of the Kraus & Pabst Group in 2009. A year later, the full takeover takes place by JCL AG. By 1 January 2012, VELA GmbH with headquarters in Minden acquired all the shares of JCL Logistics Germany GmbH as well as its subsidiary, JCL Transport Germany GmbH. Both companies appear under the name, P&M Logistics GmbH and P&M Transport GmbH. In May 2014, M+S Piano-Express GmbH with headquarters in Berlin (Germany) acquired all the shares of the P&M Group. Thereby, all of the turbulence taking place during the immediate past end. M+S Piano-Express continues, without any change, to focus on logistic services for large-scale musical instruments and unpacked / high-quality furniture.
The Grotrian-Steinweg Piano Factory looks back at 175 years of company history and has been family-owned now for six generations. Meanwhile, Erwin Grotrian-Steinweg’s three daughters, Mechthild, Irmhild and Liebhild Grotrian-Steinweg, are the owners of the company, which is rich in tradition. Together with the businessman and piano builder, Burkhard Stein, who has leads the company’s business since 1999, they carry the responsibility for the company’s continued existence and further development while in all the years, particularly one thing has never changed.: the love of music. This was and is the driving force, sometimes also behind unusual steps such as building a unique duo grand piano, which had been developed together with an internationally known piano duo.
125 years after its establishment by Wilhelm Schimmel, Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH is managed by Viola Schimmel, Wilhelm Nikolaus Schimmel‘s youngest daughter, and her husband, Hannes Schimmel-Vogel. Having been prepared for a long time, on the day of the jubilee, a model and innovation campaign had been started for all brand names (Schimmel, Sabel by Schimmel, May Berlin), whose external characteristics constitute a new, recognisable stylistic instrumental design. Many new models were bestowed with renowned awards, including the red dot award, the Good Design Award, the iF Award, the Design Prize of the Republic of Germany and many more. The fourth generation leads the company, as did their ancestors, according to the principles of quality and innovation and continually pursues improvement of the instruments. The success of the brand name Schimmel Konzert and, in particular, the K280 grand piano is the best incentive for the Schimmel family and all its 250 employees – Because musical quality is the key to making every hour a happy one with a grand or upright piano by Schimmel.
A hundred and fifty years have passed since the founding of the Pfeiffer piano factory. Since 1994, Dr. Georg Pfeiffer has led the family-owned company located in Leonberg near Stuttgart, representing the fifth generation. There, modern production and a generous exhibition with a concert hall make a welcome symbiosis for music lovers. The company philosophy of Pfeiffer unchangeably remains top quality.
For hundreds of years, the metal working business Wupper has also been specialised in the production of all types of rollers, special hinges, foot brackets, fittings, etc. for grand and upright pianos. There is hardly a new instrument produced in Europe in which products from Wupper cannot be found.
In the coming decades, grand and upright pianos are, and remain magic boxes of the imagination. They are the only acoustical instruments with which all types of music can be represented. This is due to their polyphony, which is rich in timbre. It not only awakens the imagination, but leaves ample room for innate creativity.
It is therefore understandable that most students in German music schools are taught on the piano. By the way, we do not stand alone in Germany on this. In many other countries, piano instruction also takes a leading position in regards to student numbers. Therefore, first-class grand and upright pianos are desired everywhere. Against this background, the members of the Bundesverband Klavier e.V. look into the future with confidence and shall continue to maintain the tradition of piano manufacture in Germany and Europe.
Top class instruments are a necessity
Classical pianoforte instruments are a necessity for a number of reasons and therefore pianists and piano players cannot imagine the future without the fine instruments made by the members of the Bundesverband Klvierindustrie e.V: Electronic musical instruments and digital piano cannot replace the traditional pianos. The music on acoustic grand pianos and uprights is a personal enrichment which in not measurable in facts and figures.