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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Grotrian Pianos - A short History

Grotrian Pianos are among the very best piano makers in the world. Since 1866, with a simple 'love of music' as their guiding principle, the family-owned Grotrian piano company has navigated the stormy seas of history and, with a dogged commitment to sheer craftsmanship, they have faced and overcome the challenges of industrial and economic change.

Fredrich Grotrian was born in Braunschweig in 1803 and in 1830 left Germany to establish a music business in Moscow. Maintaining close relationships with many pianists, he sought to understand what pianists look for in a piano. This knowledge was invaluable when he came to be building his own pianos. On his return to Germany1858, Fredrich became partner of a piano factory. 

In 1866, Wilhelm Grotrian became the sole proprietor of the factory and was able to develop his pianos with no outside or conflicting interests. In 1895, his sons Willi and Kurt became partners. To impart his straightforward purpose in making pianos, Wilhem said to his sons, "Lads, build good pianos and the rest will take care of itself." 

Willi and Kurt were sent on an international journey to gain experience in piano building, learning as they went what it meant to 'build good pianos!' They combined the best of their newly acquired knowledge with the craftsmanship inherent in Germany and soon established a golden reputation for quality and tone. 

The Grotrian piano factory was completely destroyed in the Second World War, but thanks to the perseverance and courage of Helmut and Erwin Grotrian, the sons of Kurt Grotrian, production was restored very soon after the war.

In 1974, a new factory was built iin 'Grotrian Street' in Braunschweig - where all Grotrian pianos are manufactured today.

Personal note: from a tuner/technicians viewpoint, I have always found these pianos a delight to work on. Invariably, the build quality and tone is superb and, most important of all, they are a pleasure to play

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