Piano makers ... most gone, some flourishing

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Site Administrator
Posts: 18474
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York

Piano makers ... most gone, some flourishing

Post by Lance » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:22 pm

This was of great interest to me as a concert piano technician. I have seen many brands over many decades. The article and list is extensive, but most are gone in the 21st century now. Some well-known names are still listed. Steinway's biggest competitor, Baldwin, is no longer making pianos, which is a great shame for the USA. Mason & Hamlin,and Chickering, and Knabe (the latter two no longer made) were great pianos Mason & Hamlin doesn't seem to have the reputation it had in its heyday. On the European scene, Bechstein, Bösendorfer, Grotian Steinweg, Blüthner, Fazioli, Steingraeber are still made; from Japan we still have Kawai and Yamaha, the latter two who make outstanding pianos, especially their concert grand pianos.

Perhaps you will enjoy reviewing the listing. I say in my title "...some flourishing," which is misleading. Pianos have become very pricey in the last 10 years. I remember when a Steinway grant was $1,000 a foot, for the retail price. Check the prices today … you will be shocked. I am unaware of any manufacturer having stellar sales in today's marketplace.

Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Piano makers ... most gone, some flourishing

Post by John F » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:12 am

Back in the 1950s, the Knabe had the Metropolitan Opera concession locked up. Milton Cross missed no opportunity to plug it: "seated at the Knabe." I've no idea whether their pianos were any good, but clearly they were good enough for rehearsals, coaching, in the pit, and the broadcast intermission features, "Opera News on the Air" with Boris Goldovsky and "Opera Quiz." I see that Knabes ceased being made in 1982, though the brand name lives on as a subsidiary of Mason & Hamlin. Currently the Met uses Yamaha pianos.

Years ago, André Watts switched from Steinway to Yamaha because, he said, Yamaha provided better service. That matters to him more than me. Nearly always the piano in a recital here is a Steinway, presumably American though I've heard some artists travel with a German Steinway. My own favorite piano is a Bösendorfer, but I've only actually heard it in person in Vienna and Berlin, never that I can remember in New York. Oh, there was a Bösendorfer at the Romantic Revival festival in Indianapolis in the 1960s; I remember because Frank Cooper demonstrated the extra keys in the bass, and the wooden flap that covered them when not in use.
John Francis

Posts: 1929
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:58 am
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Re: Piano makers ... most gone, some flourishing

Post by Ricordanza » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:51 am

Seems to be a very comprehensive list. It's the first time I've seen a mention of the manufacturer of my piano: Cable-Nelson.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], slofstra and 27 guests