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Collection: Bechstein Piano Manufacturing

Bechstein History    Bechstein Technical Aspects  Bechstein Pianos

 

After hundreds of years of craftsmanship and care, even today Bechstein manufactures pianos at the highest level.

The piano manufacturing firm Bechstein was established in 1853 by Carl Bechstein in Berlin, Germany Carl Bechstein died in 1900 and his sons Johann, Carl, and Edwin assumed responsibilities for continuing the company.

When the sons died, Helene Bechstein came into ownership with Karl Bechstein now managing the firm. In 1963 the American company, Baldwin Piano, purchased the controlling stock and the remainder of the shares in 1974. Baldwin Piano then sold to Karl Scultze in 1986. In 1992 Bechstein Gruppe-Berlin was established as the controllers of the Bechstein company.

Many pianists and composers have endorsed Bechstein pianos in their history and this includes include Hans von Bülow, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Artur Schnabel, Wilhelm Kempff, Leopold Godowsky, Walter Gieseking and Wilhelm Bachkaus. Composer Claude Debussy highly prized Bechstein pianos and made the statement, "Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."

 

Manufactory, principles, facts and figures

Both the company’s headquarters and the production site were located in Berlin from 1853 to 1992, although Bechstein operated additional facilities in Karlsruhe and Eschelbronn for a time following WW2. With the restructuring of Berlin in the aftermath of German reunification, running production facilities in the city center became increasingly difficult. This prompted Bechstein to acquire the production facilities of the old-established Zimmermann brand in Seifhennersdorf in the region of Upper Lusatia, in Saxony.

For several years, the company focused on relocating the entire Berlin production step by step while at the same time qualifying the Saxonian staff as well as modernizing and expanding the facility with an investment of more than 20 million Euro. As a result, C. Bechstein Seifhennersdorf has now become a flagship production site of worldwide renown.

 

Heritage and continuity

Today, Bechstein boasts its sixth generation of engineers, tone specialists, piano makers, and other specialists in the fields of finishing, wood working and metal processing, all of them contributing to the further development of the company that Carl Bechstein founded in Berlin in 1853. This visionary piano-maker succeeded from the outset in producing fine instruments with a singing tone that fascinated great pianists and composers, thus cultivating the brand loyalties of artists and music fans the world over.

The expertise required to create pianos with outstanding sound is a heritage that now lives on at the Seifhennersdorf production site. A team of 150 top craftsmen and technicians, old and young, are fascinated by the singularity of the Bechstein brand and pass on their skills and knowledge to each succeeding generation of piano-makers. The expertise gained from tradition, experience and the latest research into materials and innovative processing technology goes into improving the action assembly and the famous Bechstein sound.

 

Internationally coveted apprenticeship

C. Bechstein constantly endeavors to capture the imagination of young people over the world for the piano-making profession, and to provide top-level training. C. Bechstein is the world's leading company when it comes to training professionals in the skills of making and servicing first-quality upright and grand pianos.
 

Remarkable in-house production depth

C. Bechstein not only invests in further training, modernization of production conditions and selection of materials, but also constantly expands the in-house production depth to maintain the excellent quality of materials and parts and to be highly independent from suppliers. This development contrasts with the general trend among other manufacturers, who increasingly outsource their production or merely assemble third-party components. C. Bechstein intends to increase its level of in-house production depth even further in the upcoming years.

Expertise advantage

What is the secret behind C. Bechstein’s world-renowned expertise advantage?

The knowledge of how to make top-class instruments; experience handed down since 1853; scientific advances in the fields of materials and processing; and, of course , the ongoing dialog between craftsmen and women, engineers, tone specialists and professional pianists.

C. Bechstein continuously promotes intensive as well as controversial exchange of ideas between all those involved to further develop versatile pianos that are a pleasure to play and to hear for generations to come, so that every C. Bechstein piano can truly become the owners’ “musical friend for life.”Bechstein follows an integrative approach toward piano-making, starting with engineers, CNC technology for most accurate processing of materials, handcrafting both the acoustic body as well as the keyboard and action assemblies, up to the final adjustment of touch and tone in order to fulfill all expactations placed on a top-class musical instrument such as a sensitive touch and rich and colourful tone. 

Research and development

Research and Development, the constant process of developing components as well as the entire sound structure is a task to which a team of engineers, wood specialists and process technicians commit themselves to. Detailed specifications for all materials and supply parts also belongs to their relevant tasks.

C. Bechstein runs Europe's most modern R&D department in the field of piano-making. While preserving historical assets like the legendary Bechstein sound and traditional piano-making methods, C. Bechstein pianos meet the demands of today’s pianists. The accuracy of modern CNC technology and the use of state-of-the-art CAD software are applied in the process of constantly improving and refining the quality of our instruments.

 

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