"With joy Wilhelm Backhaus admits to being an enthusiastic supporter of the magnificent Bechstein grand piano."
Despite a difficult start, Bechstein soon has reason to celebrate: Wilhelm Backhaus plays at the 100-year anniversary celebration. New production facilities and new owners provide drastic changes.
In December 1951, more than six years after the surrender and a period of extremely limited production, Bechstein can finally put a factory with 8,000 square meter into operation again.
Two years after the restart, Bechstein celebrates its centenary: The Titaniapalast, which also serves the Berlin Philharmonic with its chief conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler as a concert hall, is crowded as Wilhelm Backhaus plays an all-Beethoven program there on November 21. Famous artists such as Sergiu Celibidache and Wilhelm Kempff prefer Bechstein.
In divided Berlin, there is a lack of skilled workers. Consequently, new Bechstein production facilities are established in southern Germany's Eschelbronn and Karlsruhe, however, annual production does not exceed 1,000 instruments.
The American Baldwin takes over Bechstein's shares. For decades, there is a lack of entrepreneurial commitment and consistent marketing at Bechstein. The company is controlled remotely from America, German consumers are systematically diverted to American products. The conditions for a Bechstein new beginning could hardly have been less favorable.