C. Bechstein Pianos, officially known as C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG is one of the oldest piano manufacturing companies in the world. Their products have been enjoyed by several ‘celebrated personalities’ in history, including Queen Victoria, Hans Von Bulow, Franz Liszt and many others.
Carl Bechstein founded his first piano factory in Berlin, Germany on October 1, 1853. By 1870, Bechstein has emerged as the leading supplier of pianos used in concerts and other musical performances, as well as those found in private mansions, thanks to the endorsements of Liszt and Von Bulow who were among the first performers to use his pianos.
By 1881, the company began supplying pianos to Queen Victoria and by January of 1886, Bechstein received the Royal Warrant as the supplier to the Queen.
Between 1870’s to 1914, Bechstein was the leading piano manufacturer and supplier across Europe. It paved way for the opening of several branches across the Continent.
During the First and Second World Wars, Bechstein suffered severe losses. Due to the anti-German sentiments, the Royal Warrant was cancelled on April 13, 1915. Despite this misfortune, Bechstein remained one of the top piano makers in the world.
After the fall of Berlin Wall, Karl Schulze bought Bechstein and continued the company’s legacy. In the years that followed, Bechstein continued to invade the success of musical instrument industry throughout Europe and the globe. It even forged partnerships with other piano manufacturing companies, such as Samick in 2002, which lasted until 2007.
Since 2006, Bechstein's factory in Seifhennersdorf, Germany manufactures the "Bechstein" brand, in addition to the lower-priced consumer line, Zimmermann. Lesser expensive lines have been manufactured in the Czech Republic (W.Hoffmann), China, and Indonesia (Euterpe, Wilh. Streinmann). From 2006 to 2007, Bechstein acquired controlling interest in Bohemia Piano Ltd. of the Czech Republic, which it integrated as C. Bechstein Europe.
While the Wilh. Steinmann brand was discontinued in 2009, both the Euterpe and Zimmermann brands are sold in Europe, and the W. Hoffman name is sold in the U.S. and Canada.
including W. Hoffmann
Bechstein America, LLC
Box 87, Manalapan, New Jersey 07726
Bechstein Piano Center
207 W 58th St, New York, NY · (212) 581-5550
Notable Performers Who Have Chosen Bechstein
Bechstein pianos were not only famous during the classical period of music history, but also in the contemporary age. Other than the first few names mentioned at the onset, who enjoyed playing using the Bechstein pianos, some of the notable modern day celebrities who enjoyed Bechstein pianos include pianist Władysław Szpilman (who was portrayed in the popular biopic The Pianist, directed by Roman Polański) used Bechstein pianos until 1941 in his family’s private apartments in Warsaw.
Freedy Mercury of the band Queen also used a Bechstein piano in one of his performances as well as in the recording of the best-selling album A Night at The Opera.
Elton John also used a Bechstein piano during his studio recording of Your Song.
The Beatles used a Bechstein concert grand piano for recording Hey Jude and the White Album tracks Dear Prudence, Honey Pie, Savoy Truffle and Martha My Dear, I Want You (She's So Heavy), for the album Abbey Road
Find the age of your C. Bechstein piano using the chart found below:
1859 - 176 . . . .1960 - 151950
1860 - 300 . . . .1970 - 162300
1865 - 1595 . . .1980 - 173785
1870 - 4196 . . .1985 - 177800
1875 - 8070 . . .1990 - 180821
1880 - 11676 . .1991 - 181522
1885 - 16704 . .1992 - 182103
1890 - 24958 . .1994 - 183219
1895 - 37785 . .1996 - 184580
1900 - 54181 . .2000 - 187537
1905 - 78185 . .2002 - 189243
1910 - 94753 . .2005 - 192945
1915 - 110898
1920 - 115783
1925 - 126160
1930 - 137446
1935 - 139999
1940 - 143890
1945 - 146235
1950 - 147000
1955 - 148400
1959 - 150600
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