Bösendorfer Standard Models
Bösendorfer-The Viennese Art of Piano Making-a Living Legend
Founded in Vienna by Ignaz Bösendorfer in 1828 , we are one of the oldest piano companies in the world, and also one of the most exclusive, making only a few hundred instruments each year. We are world famous for our quality, our outstanding richness of tone colour and our typical pure and inspiring sound- “ DER KLANG, DER BERÜHRT”- that reflects the Viennese tradition. In an age of mass production, uniformity and standardisation we take great pride to be exclusive and original, and strive to continue the mission of Ignaz Bösendorfer and his son, Ludwig - simply to be the best.
Since 1828 our legendary instruments have been handcrafted in Austria by our expert craftsmen, whose skills have been painstakingly passed down from generation to generation. Influenced by all the major composers and pianists who lived and worked in Vienna, the music capital of the world, Ignaz and Ludwig Bösendorfer created and developed the finest musical instruments- a tradition that continues to this day. Our instruments have inspired generations of musicians as diverse as Johannes Brahms, Ferruccio Busoni, Wilhelm Backhaus, Friedrich Gulda, Paul Badura-Skoda, András Schiff, Valentina Lisitsa,Tori Amos and Oscar Peterson.
Our product range consists of grand pianos in 8 different sizes, from 155 cm to 290cm in length, and 2 uprights, as well as the CEUS computer grand, on which you can record your performance and play it back with an unrivalled level of accuracy.
The magic of Bösendorfer
All our grands share the same fundamental features.
Resonance case principle
For outstanding richness of tone colour and our legendary pure and inspiring sound. This complex construction is part of the Viennese tradition of piano making. The whole body, not just the soundboard, supports sound formation, similar in principle to a violin. We use Austrian spruce tonewood, the ideal sonic material, which constitutes over 80% of the wood in every Bösendorfer grand piano- this is the highest percentage of any manufacturer. The actual core of the piano rim consists of a 10 mm quarter-sawn piece that is specially grooved by our craftsmen to allow it to be formed around the inner rim- this is unique to Bösendorfer. When a note is played, the integrated spruce components become acoustically active, forming a complete resonating body that gives the whole instrument an unparalleled resonance.
Our Austrian spruce has to be grown at a minimum of 800 meters above sea level (for very close annual rings), and harvested only in the winter, when the sap is at its lowest ; it is subsequently quarter sawn for parallel grain. Our timber is air dried naturally for up to 5 years, and further dried for up to an additional 6 months before use, to ensure maximum sound quality and stability.
Handmade in Austria
Handmade in Austria by our skilled craftsmen with painstaking attention to detail and using only the finest materials - our team of master craftsmen, technicians and craftsmen have incomparable experience; it can take over one year for the final instrument to be completed.
Built to last
One of our early successes was the ability of our grand pianos to withstand Franz Liszt's virtuoso playing technique. Our unique construction still has the same ability to meet the toughest demands of professional pianists and Institutions. Privately owned instruments are cherished and passed down from one generation to the next.
Independent Capo d’astro
This makes precise adjustment possible and guarantees theoriginal sound of your chosen Bösendorfer for generations. We are the only manufacturer in the world to use this system.
Each string is individually attached with a handmade loop. Over time this improves tuning stability and is particularly service friendly.
This allows firmer and more secure seating of the tuning pins which in turn gives a technician more direct control. We make our own pinblocks using 3 layers of 7mm quarter sawn maple glued cross-grained to each other.This is then glued to a baseboard of laminated red beech, and the top is capped with a 1.5 mm thick walnut veneer.
Hand spun bass strings
We make all our bass strings in our own unique way - it is no surprise that our bass is so legendary.
Sand cast frames (made in Austria)
We use this traditional casting method which is widely considered to produce the best tonal results. Our frames are stored in the open air for c. 6 months to eliminate all internal stresses.
Made to our specification by Renner in Germany . The geometry has been painstakingly developed in close cooperation with artists, teachers and technicians to allow perfect control of every nuance from the finest pianissimo to the orchestral fortissimo.
Finest European spruce keyboard
Built to our specification by German keyboard specialists.
2 concert models in our range come with additional bass notes–our 225 model has in total 92 notes and our 290 has 97 ( a full additional octave) rather than the standard 88. Certain works, e.g. by Bartók, Busoni and Ravel, can only be performed on them. This may be a luxury,but these extra bass strings guarantee additional harmonic resonance throughout the whole instrument, adding an almost orchestral dimension for which these instruments are renowned.
Which instrument should you choose?
There is no easy answer- all our instruments are hand-made, so every one is unique. Our advice would be just try them out, then select the instrument that gives you the most pleasure. But be warned! It may not be the instrument that you had in mind. No matter; bigger or smaller, we always find room for those we love.
Anything is possible- the world of finishes and designs.
In principal any RAL colour and any veneer can be used. A colour pattern will be made and agreed prior to the start of production; and the direction of grain, if relevant, will be determined.