C. Bechstein turns 160 - a good reason to celebrate!

Carl Bechstein founded his first piano workshop at Behrenstrasse 56 in Berlin on 1 October 1853. This date marks the beginning of a long success story, especially among great composers. Today, Bechstein is Europe's most successful pianomaker.

Revered by piano aficionados all over the world and cherished as an ideal partner by professional musicians, the Bechstein uprights and grands remain the epitome of top-class instruments to this day.

Nowadays, the C. Bechstein Group is the main piano manufacturer in Europe. Moreover, with around four thousand instruments sold a year, Bechstein is one of Germany’s most famous companies worldwide. This success story is rooted in the decision to maintain the production site in Germany, more precisely in Seifhennersdorf, Saxony. A staff of 145 highly skilled employees have been putting their hearts and souls into the manufacturing of the Bechstein and C. Bechstein instruments since 1992, performing a unique association of traditional piano-making and cutting-edge technology. Since 2008, the C. Bechstein Group has also been producing the affordable uprights and grands of the W.Hoffmann range in the Czech Republic: in Hradec Kràlové, the 160 employees of the subsidiary C. Bechstein Europe s.r.o. work according to the standards laid down by the German parent company.

From the outset, Bechstein was the instrument of choice for composers and great pianists alike: Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Busoni, Schnabel, Backhaus and Kempff have all sung Bechstein’s praises at one time or another. Two new CDs that feed on this long tradition are particularly worthy of mention in the Bechstein anniversary year: András Schiff recently recorded Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and the Sonata op. 111 on a Bechstein for the label ECM, while Abdel Rahman El Bacha opted for a D 282 concert grand for his recording of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas (released by Mirare). The Lebanese-born French pianist thus followed in the footsteps of Artur Schnabel, who made the first ever complete recording of Beethoven’s sonatas — already on a Bechstein.

An overview of all the pianists who have given concerts on Bechsteins is available here.

Carl Bechstein