PIANO BRANDS

Some of the most influencial piano makers are listed below. These piano brands are known as the best in the industry for quality, sound and design. Some brands are still in production and others have ceased trading. For more information on piano makes, to find the value of your piano orto discuss sourcing a piano from a known maker please contact our expert team.
The piano brands listed are just some of the most popular makes we work with. There are in excess of 600 reputatble brands that have been in production over centuries and we also have expreience working with many other makers.
Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH was established as a workshop in Leipzig, Germany in 1853, by Julius Blüthner. Julius was responsible for the invention of the aliquot string innovation, a unique sound, and guided the company to become the largest German piano maker by 1900.
Blüthner built a one-of-a-kind piano for the Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg in 1936 and replaced the classic use of cast iron for the harp plate with aluminium, which made it significantly lightweight. Many renowned artists have owned Blüthner pianos as have worldwide royal family members They have made appearances in films and have been used in the recording of albums. Some specialist designs have been made including incorporating a reversal of the notes for left-handers.
The Blüthner range of grand pianos and upright pianos are still built in Germany and close to its original factory near Leipzig.
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First established by Ignaz Bösendorfer in 1828, the Bösendorfer piano factory in Austria is one of the oldest manufacturers of pianos. The ownership has changed over the years, but the pianos continue to be handcrafted in the Vienna factory.
Bösendorfer models include a portfolio of 8 Grand pianos and 2 Uprights, their model numbers relating to the length of each piano. A number of special editions have been created for various composers like Frédéric Chopin and some designer editions feature decorations of Swarovski diamonds and gold.
The rim of a Bösendorfer Grand is a unique characteristic, and is made of interconnected solid segments of Spruce, which transmits sound effectively....
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C. Bechstein was first established in Germany, in 1853, by Carl Bechstein. Carl Bechstein set out to manufacture a piano able to withstand the great demands imposed on the instrument by the virtuosi of the time, such as Franz Liszt.
Bechstein specialise in grand and upright acoustic pianos and are known for their one-of-a-kind artcase pianos crested in the 19th century. Artcase pianos were commissioned by interior designers for royal palaces and mansions. Artists and craftsmen were hired by C. Bechstein to make special pianos decorated with gold, hand-carved details, and hand-painted art on the piano case. Some of the artcase Bechsteins are now museum pieces, while others are sometimes traded at musical-instrument auctions, mainly in London and New York.
In 2007 C.Bechstein moved production to Czech Republic where it resides to this day.
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CHAPPELL

Chappell & Co was founded in London in 1811 as a showroom on Bond Street displaying a large collection of pianos for sale and hire and as a publisher of sheet music, by Samuel Chappell, Francis Latout and Johann Chappell. In the 1840s it started to manufacture its own brand of pianos at the Chappell Piano Factory in Chalk Farm, under the management of Thomas Chappell, Samuel’s younger son.
Chappell advertised sales of Pianinos, Full Cottages, Horizontal Grands and Vertical Grands, as ‘unquestionably the finest that have ever been produced’ in England or on the continent. In Britain, they became the leading manufacturers of pianos between 1931 and 1961.
Kemble Pianos bought the retail section of Chappell in 1980 and continues to run the showroom out of the Bond Street premises, whilst the publishing section changed hands many times, and is currently owned by Warner Music Group.
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COLLARD & COLLARD

London based Collard & Collard were born out of a long-standing relationship through various ownerships, dating back to 1799, becoming solely owned by the Collard brothers in 1831. Prior to this, they were partnered with the famous composer Muzio Clementi.
They manufactured pianos and many other musical instruments, and they had a wide range of designs in their portfolios consisting of grand pianofortes, a grand square piano and semi grand, and a number of very ornate cottage upright designs. Collard & Collard pianos were made from rosewood, mahogany or walnut, some with beautiful elaborate decorative carvings on the front legs and front panels.
In 1929 Collard & Collard were sold to Chappell & Co, who continued to produce their pianos until c.1960.
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Founded in 1893 by William Danemann in Islington, London, Danemann pianos not only manufactured their own brand of grand and uprights pianos with superb build and quality, but also made pianos for other companies. They produced many school pianos and supplied them to education establishments around the world, incorporating a number of safety features within the designs.
During the 1930s Danemann designed the added feature of the ‘back bridge’ to their pianos, which is not found in any other British made pianos. The ‘back bridge’ enhances tone and consistency across the registers and strength in the soundboard.
One of Danemanns designs, the HS2, was commissioned to be made by the piano buyer for Harrods in 1963 as ‘the best upright in the world’. Between 1985 and 1994 Danemanns pianos were being manufactured by a Welsh company, and to this day they are still in production and circulation in the UK, US and Africa, now owned by a company who manufacturers them in China.
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Edelweiss is part of the 1066 Group established in 1975 by John Norman. The company began its work as a restoration, refinishing and piano tuning company.
Unique to Edelweiss pianos is the invention of re-inventing the piano – to include spectacular bespoke design, custom made by hand in Cambridge, UK, and self-playing pianos using software that has a vast library of music, bringing a new wave of piano fashion into the 21st century. .
Edelweiss builds and designs their own piano range and can also redesign antiques and classic pianos into a more modern alternative.  The Norman family continue to produce bespoke pianos at their  Cambridge workshop and have an exclusive showroom in Harrods, Knightbridge.
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Founded by Joseph Gabriel Gaveau in 1847, Gaveau of Paris became the third largest French piano manufacturer, specialising in upright pianos. In 1893, the business was passed over to Etienne and Gabriel, two of Joseph’s sons and a new factory was built in Fontenay-sous-Bois, near Paris.
In the 20th century, Gaveau became a place where many piano makers would start their training and added beautifully crafted harpsichords and Art Deco pianos to their portfolio, including the inlaying of sun patterns into their designs. One of their most impressive pianos was the Model 1 Quarter grand, which provided a challenge to their competitors in France, boosting their reputation.
In 1960 Gaveau merged with Erard and is currently owned by Manufacture Française de Pianos of France, who continues to produce some Gaveau pianos.
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John Broadwood & Sons
John Broadwood & Sons of Whitby, North Yorkshire as it is now known was established c. 1795, was built on the foundations of the 1718 workshop business of Burkat Shudi. John Broadwood married into the Shudi family and together with Shudi’s son, became the head of the business in 1773, then known as Shudi & Broadwood.
The famous composer Mozart was known to have played a Shudi harpsichord on a visit to England as a child. John collaborated with Robert Stodart, a Scotsman and Americus Backers from the Netherlands to develop a piano within the casing of a harpsichord – the earliest known beginning of the creation of the grand piano around 1777.
John Broadwood had the patent for the English double action, and the brass under-damper for stability in the square piano. He manufactured harpsichords and began producing uprights much later. The company has many royal and famous clients, such as Napoleon and Wellington, Prince Albert and Conan Doyle. They still hold the Royal Warrant to Queen Elizabeth II as manufacturer of pianos.
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Koichi Kawai founded his brand of pianos in 1927 after starting out as an apprentice and then developing his own company, Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory in Hamamatsu, Japan with 7 other colleagues, where it still resides today.
Models include the Shigeru Kawai Grand series of traditional pianos, and a variety of digital uprights and grands, the latter of which was the industry’s first digital series – electronic pianos with real wooden keys and soundboards, and the development of the keyboard and synthesizer, some of all include the ability to use headphones so play can be personal.
With factories in Japan, Indonesia and China, Kawai is still run by the family and have expanded their business across the whole world.
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MONINGTON & WESTON 

Established in 1858 in Camden Town, London, Monington & Weston made pianos which were provided to the Royal family and were awarded medals in London and Paris for their creations.
In the 1930s the Tuplex Double Iron Frame was invented which improved the tone of M&W upright and grand pianos and also stabilised the tuning of the pianos in warmer climate countries, as opposed to temperature expansion of wooden backed pianos, affecting the tuning. Monington & Weston models include beautiful Art Deco designs of baby grands and uprights made from walnut and mahogany.
Monington & Weston pianos continued to be made under Robert Morley & Company and are manufactured in China and shipped to the UK for finishing.
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Founded in France in 1807, Ignace Pleyel’s company Pleyel et Cie manufactured both grand and upright pianos. They introduced the Pianino, or small piano to France with their short, vertically strung cottage upright in 1815.
Pleyel experimented with the double piano - the building of two pianos within one frame, and their patented ‘Duo-Clave’ became very successful in the late 1800s. A notable customer of Pleyel was Chopin, who played his first and last concerts at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
The first self-playing pianos were invented by Pleyel, and they also made the very first chromatic harp. Often using red spruce to build their pianos, they have also made bespoke pianos from woods that can acclimatise to warmer temperatures.
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SCHIEDMAYER

An eighteenth-century instrument maker Balthasar Schiedmayer, started the family business by making a clavichord in 1735 at his workshop on Theaterstrasse in Erlangen, Germany. His three sons went on to continue the Schiedmayer business, both in Erlangen and Nuremburg, as did his later descendants throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in Stuttgart.
Models include the square piano, pianoforte, clavichord and harmonium and they are thought to be more than 9,000 grands and 1,000 uprights of the Schiedmayer brand in the UK.
One elegant piano, Model 7a Artcase upright piano dating from 1926, is made from mahogany wood and features bronze decorations and leg carvings.
The Schiedmayer ended their piano production in 1980, to focus on manufacturing glockenspiels and celestas, both of which are still manufactured in Germany.

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William Schimmel founded his company, Schimmel Pianos in 1885 in Leipzig, Germany and soon was exporting to many countries across the world.
His son Wilhelm Arno re-established the Schimmel brand in 1932 and started to produce smaller pianos with a new style action and patented the ‘small piano’. One particular model the J50 became very influential in that decade, and he was also the inventor behind the smallest grand piano, which measured only 117 cm in length.
The Schimmel Konzert series (K Tradition) include both grand and upright pianos and can be artisan designed. To this day, Wilhelm’s designs are manufactured in Poland and the designs of his elder bother Fridolin, who also developed his own Schimmel portfolio, are produced in China.
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Schumann pianos originated in Illinois, USA in 1847 and built baby grands, uprights and player pianos. They were very popular pianos but the great depression of the 1930s forced them to sell the business.
Prior to this, the Schumann brand opened a factory in Rockford and the original models were made from mahogany, oak and walnut. The ‘L’ upright model was highly praised by America’s leading concert contralto, Christine Miller who said it was ‘rich and full in tone, just the piano desired by all artists.
The Schumann brand name continues into the 21st century, since 1956 being under China ownership and currently manufactured in a large purpose built Moutrie factory in Nanjing, China. Schumann pianos use German technology and base their designs on standard European design principles. The they build both grand and uprights pianos. The GP-168 can be made to a variety of colours and can include bespoke features such as a silent system or digital system.
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Established in 1853 in New York, and of American-German heritage, Steinway & Sons was started by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, a German piano builder living in Manhattan.
One of Steinway’s unique innovations include the diaphragmatic soundboard, which was developed in 1936, which allows the piano to vibrate to a further extent. Instead of using metal screws, they glue the cast iron frame to the underside, so that there is no metal embedded in the construction of the piano, refining the Steinway sound.
Popular grand piano models include the 7’ Model B, and the smaller Model M, both of which are suitable for the living room or smaller concert venue, and Models L&O, that are the larger of the smaller range of grands and popular in the living room. These are models that have dominated their sales repertoire.
The expansion of the company led to two further factories being opened; New York City in 1871 and Hamburg, Germany in 1880, both of which still produce handmade pianos to this day.
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WEBER

Founded in 1852 on Broadway, New York by piano builder Albert Weber, originally from Bavaria, the Weber brand expanded into a newly built factory in Manhattan in 1864, from their success in the fashionable square grand pianos of that time.
Becoming well known for using exemplary materials and fine attention to detail, they became a supplier for the higher society, opening a showroom in the famous Fifth Avenue.
Notably, the Weber Louis XIV Art Grand piano model, built in 1911 is lavished with extravagant carvings, beautifully designed in the 17th century style of the French king.
Contemporary models of Weber instruments are still being manufactured today, in South Korea and is now owned by the Samsung Group.
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WELMAR

First manufactured in London in 1925, under the ownership of the 19th century Whelpdale Maxwell & Codd Ltd, Welmar pianos were passionately made by their craftsman and known for their high quality. Built from mahogany or walnut, early Welmar baby grand pianos were influenced by Blüthner.
Many Welmar uprights dating from the 1970s and some earlier uprights, have been used in schools and music academies for decades. Welmar incorporated a specification option to his clients to choose from Renner or Langan actions for their upright.
The manufacture of the Welmar piano was moved from London to Stroud, Gloucestershire in the mid-1990s and sadly, ceased production altogether in 2003.
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Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer, originally began his company in Cincinnati as an importer of woodwind and brass instruments direct from Germany in the 1850s. By 1880, the Wurlitzer brand diversified into manufacturing upright and grand pianos in 1880 and moved premises to New York.
Over time, Wurlitzer added other stringed and percussion instruments to their portfolio, including pipe and theatres organs and electronic pianos and also began producing jukeboxes. In 1935, by customer demand, it began to sell spinet pianos, a shorter and more compact type of piano, successfully.
The beautifully ornate Wurlitzer Butterfly Art Deco Deluxe, model 1411, has 88 keys and symmetrical lids that portray the shape of butterfly wings when open. It also has a unique banding around the body of piano, which are sound slots that allow sound to be emitted when the lids are closed.
After being a family run business for over 100 years, Wurlitzer became part of the Gibson Guitar Company, and now mostly produces jukeboxes at its factory in Hullhorst, Germany.
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In 1887 Torakusu Yamaha started his business manufacturing pianos and reed organs and expanded to become one of the biggest names in musicals instruments and many other unrelated artifacts, building his first upright in 1902.
In collaboration with a German piano expert craftsman Ale Schlegel in 1926, the Japanese Yamaha brand significantly enhanced their piano design, which over time led them to the successful launch of their FC concert grand piano model in the 1950s. Considerable expansion to their production lines followed, making Yamaha the largest manufacturer of pianos in the world.
Yamaha have moved with the times and some of their models are truly inspirational in our modern world, such as the A · round, a curvy flat top piano with leather key lid and the Re · mind which is a minimalistic design that would look good in any contemporary dwelling. Yamaha continue to produce quality pianos in Japan, China, Taiwan and the USA, amongst many other countries.
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Established in Leipzig, Germany in 1884, brothers Max and Richard Zimmerman both worked for Steinway & Sons before introducing their own brand. By 1912, Zimmermann grew to be one of the largest European piano manufacturers, producing over 10,000 pianos per year.
The Zimmermann portfolio include grands, such as the Chippendale model and uprights. Both types are available in various woods, such as walnut and mahogany, and either polished or satin finishes.
Owned by Bechstein since 1992, Zimmermann pianos’ fine craftmanship is still in demand. Their S-series uprights and Z-series grand pianos are designed by Bechstein in Germany, and manufactured at the Hailun factory in China.
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