Legendary Bösendorfer Pianos - The World's Oldest Premium Piano Maker
Universally known as the musical capital of the world, Vienna has been home to the most celebrated and legendary composers of all time. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and many others composed their music here, defining what is known as the glorious Viennese sound — a sound heard round the world. It is within this framework that all Bösendorfer pianos are made.
History of Bösendorfer
Bösendorfer, one of the oldest piano manufacturers, was created in Vienna in 1828 by Ignaz Bösendorfer. Ignaz got started in piano manufacturing at the age of 19 and it quickly became clear that he had a gift for it. After learning from famed piano makers, he went on to craft Bösendorfer pianos. These instruments quickly gained such a positive reputation.
Bösendorfer fame exploded in 1838 when the young composer Franz Liszt played on their grand piano. Liszt was well-known for playing so intensely that he broke piano strings. When he performed on a Bösendorfer, Liszt was pleased to realize that the instrument could handle his forceful playing thanks to its superb crafting. The emperor of Austria commissioned Ignaz as his official piano maker in 1839, granting him the title “Imperial and Royal Piano Purveyor to the Court.”
The company continued to prosper when Ignaz’s son Ludwig took over. As a piano artisan, Ludwig continued developing the high-quality engineering behind each piano. He invented a new action, received awards, and participated in the 1867 World Exhibition in Paris. Ludwig’s commitment to the advancement of the arts was notable, too. As a patron of music, he inaugurated the Bösendorfer Hall at Palais Liechtenstein, where countless piano and music concerts occurred over 40 years.
In the years since, Bösendorfer has become synonymous with perfection and quality. Today, Bösendorfer is regarded as one of the top piano manufacturers in the world.
A Collaborative Effort in Shaping the Piano Industry
In 2008, Yamaha acquired Bösendorfer, though both companies have continued to operate independently. The rich and fascinating history of this partnership has played a significant role in shaping the world of pianos.
Yamaha is well known for producing a diverse range of pianos, but before acquiring Bösendorfer, they had yet to venture into the market of concert grand pianos. The acquisition of Bösendorfer enabled Yamaha to broaden its product range and set forth into new markets.
Despite the acquisition, Yamaha has been mindful of preserving the unique characteristics and identity of Bösendorfer pianos. Bösendorfer’s manufacturing facility remains in Vienna, Austria, and their pianos are still crafted by hand using traditional techniques that have been perfected over a century.
By acquiring Bösendorfer, Yamaha has been able to expand its offerings into the high-end piano market while simultaneously preserving Bösendorfer’s distinctive reputation and sound.
About Bösendorfer pianos
Bösendorfer is most famous for their grand pianos. They make eight sizes, from 5’ 1” (the model 155) to 9’ 6” (the Imperial 290). This impressive grand is not only one of the largest concert grands in the world but it has an unusual 97 keys instead of the standard 88.
They also make an upright, the 52” 130. This model has the subtle nuances and powerful bass expected of a grand with precise action and controllability.
Lastly, the Bösendorfer Disklavier Edition melds a legendary traditional approach to piano manufacturing with sophisticated scientific modelling and measuring technology. The ability to record and play back one’s own playing in precise articulation and authenticity yields more valuable evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the Disklavier ENSPIRE player technology developed by Yamaha provides a vast library of performances that can be enjoyed and studied.
Experience Bösendorfer for yourself
All Bösendorfer Grands share distinct and fundamental features in the way they are crafted. It’s the unique Bösendorfer DNA — the warm, yet brilliantly colorful sound of a Bösendorfer instrument. Visit our showroom to experience these stunning pianos in person.
Contact Classic Pianos with your piano questions!
Are you ready to embark on a new adventure? Experience the many ways bringing a piano into your home can enrich your life. For hundreds of years, the piano has served as the foundation of families and communities thanks to its deep cultural and historical traditions. We encourage you to carry on these customs while creating new traditions in your home.
Our team of experienced piano specialists is ready to guide you through our vast selection of new and used pianos until you find the one that’s right for you, no matter where you are on your musical journey! Contact us online or call 425-462-1888 today.