Piano Manufacturer Bechstein Launches New Line

Classic Arts News   Piano Manufacturer Bechstein Launches New Line
Bechstein, the renowned German firm of piano makers, has begun production of a new line of pianos, Musical Instrument Professional reported today.

The new collection of upright and grand pianos, called Academy, is "aimed at 'families, music, students, pianists and beginners' and will be put together using the latest computerized manufacturing technology," MI Pro reported.

Intermusic, a piano seller based in England, lists the Academy 116 upright model at Ô£8,999 (currently about $17,910).

Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Bechstein founded the firm in 1853. From the 1860s to the First World War, production of Bechstein pianos accelerated quickly, jumping from 300 to 5,000 annually; they became and remained the most popular make among Europe's leading pianists.

In 1933 the firm introduced its 'neo-Bechstein,' in which only one or two strings were used for each note and electrical amplification and reproduction replaced a traditional soundboard. A normal sustaining pedal was paired with another that controlled the instrument's volume. The 'neo-Bechstein' was dropped due to a lack of demand.

Despite the factory's demolition during the Second World, production resumed in 1951. In 1963, the American firm Baldwin purchased Bechstein and later sold it in 1987; in 1992, Bechstein took over production of Zimmerman pianos.

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