C. Bechstein, Bechstein Academy, W. Hoffmann
C. Bechstein has proven to be one of the most durable piano manufacturers, having survived two world wars and a half-century in the Eastern-Bloc. Despite its precarious historical position, C. Bechstein has never compromised the quality of its pianos, and this appropriately reflects the mission of the company’s founder, Carl Bechstein: to produce an epically durable instrument, capable of withstanding even the most punishing blows at the hands of a superior adversary. Namely, Franz Liszt.
A Piano For More Demanding Composers
C. Bechstein was founded in 1853 in Berlin, Germany, well after the established workshops of Brodmann and Bösendorfer in Vienna. Despite his German origins, Bechstein’s training occurred in France and England. Upon returning to Berlin, he, like many other piano manufacturers, set out to create a piano that could serve as an adequate medium for more demanding composers and compositions.
Take a tour with Bechstein’s master piano technician, Karl Schulze, in the documentary, Manufacturing of Bechstein Pianos Today :
In less than 20 years, Bechstein pianos could be found from London to Moscow, in concert halls, conservatories, and even private homes. The company was granted a royal warrant from the British Queen Victoria and supplied numerous pianos to British palaces, castles, and embassies. Bechstein became one of the most well-respected piano manufacturers in Europe, serving as a standard against which other companies, including the young Steinway & Sons, were measured.
Entering The 21st Century
Though Bechstein suffered heavy losses through the 20th century, it has entered the 21st century in grand fashion. C. Bechstein is a flagship brand that displays the best of European construction methods. Hans von Bülow, student of Franz Liszt and famed principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, had this to say about C. Bechstein:
Bechstein is for pianists as Stradivarius and Amati are for violinists.
- Hans von Bülow
A more convincing endorsement, there is not.