Monday, 11 October 2021

Petrof Pianos

Antonin Petrof studied the art of piano making with his uncle, Jan Heitzmann in Vienna. Returning to Bohemia in 1864 established the Petrof Piano Company and began building pianos. The following year his father’s joinery behind the Cathedral of Svaty Duch was repurposed to make it more suited to building pianos.

In 1874 Petrof pianos moved to larger facilities for manufacturing operations, eventually producing their own keyboards and actions. Business was steadily gathering momentum so that in 1894, they began exporting their pianos abroad, and were able to set up a service centre and warehouse in Vienna.  

AntonĂ­n Petrof was appointed in 1899 to be the court piano maker of Austria-Hungary. The growth of the business continue over the next 20 years so that Petrof expanded their foreign sales - selling to Japan, China, Australia and South America.
1928, Petrof together with the American company Steinway opened a subsidiary in London. When Petrof pianos won the gold medal at the World Exhibition 1934 in Brussels, the Petrof factory employed about 400 people. 

The 100,000th Petrof piano was produced in 1963 and has their research centre for continued scientific development. After a period of state ownership the company was privatised in 1998 and was returned to family control in 2001. 

©Steve Burden 

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