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Legendary Bösendorfer Pianos
Since 1828 - The World's Oldest Premium Piano Maker

Universally known as the musical capital of the world, Vienna has been home to the most celebrated and legendary composers of all time. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and many others composed their music here, defining what is known as the glorious Viennese sound — a sound heard round the world. It is within this framework that all Bösendorfer pianos are made. 

History of Bösendorfer

Bösendorfer, the world’s oldest premium piano builder, was started in Vienna in 1828 by Ignaz Bösendorfer. Ignaz started piano manufacturing at 19, and it quickly became clear that he had a gift for it. After learning from famed piano makers, he began to craft Bösendorfer pianos. These instruments quickly gained a sterling reputation and acclaim among local artists and musicians.

Bösendorfer fame exploded in 1838 when the young composer Franz Liszt played on their grand piano. Liszt was well-known for playing so intensely that he broke piano strings. When he performed on a Bösendorfer, Liszt was pleased to realize that the instrument could handle his forceful playing thanks to its superb crafting. The emperor of Austria commissioned Ignaz as his official piano maker in 1839, granting him the title “Imperial and Royal Piano Purveyor to the Court.”  

The company continued to prosper when Ignaz’s son Ludwig took over. As a piano artisan, Ludwig continued developing the high-quality engineering behind each piano. He invented a new action, received awards, and participated in the 1867 World Exhibition in Paris. Ludwig’s commitment to the advancement of the arts was notable, too. As a patron of music, he inaugurated the Bösendorfer Hall at Palais Liechtenstein, where countless piano and music concerts occurred over 40 years.  

In the years since Bösendorfer has become synonymous with perfection and quality. 

A Collaborative Effort in Shaping the Piano Industry

In 2008, Yamaha acquired Bösendorfer, though both companies have continued to operate independently. The rich and fascinating history of this partnership has played a significant role in shaping the world of pianos.

Yamaha is well known for producing a diverse range of pianos, but before acquiring Bösendorfer, they had yet to venture into the market of concert grand pianos. The acquisition of Bösendorfer enabled Yamaha to broaden its product range and set forth into new markets.

Despite the acquisition, Yamaha has been mindful of preserving the unique characteristics and identity of Bösendorfer pianos. Bösendorfer’s manufacturing facility remains in Vienna, Austria, and their pianos are still crafted by hand using traditional techniques that have been perfected over a century.

By acquiring Bösendorfer, Yamaha has been able to expand its offerings into the high-end piano market while simultaneously preserving Bösendorfer’s distinctive reputation and sound.

About Bösendorfer pianos

Bösendorfer is most famous for their grand pianos. They make eight sizes, from 5’ 1” (the model 155) to 9’ 6” (the Imperial 290). This impressive grand is not only one of the largest concert grands in the world but it has an unusual 97 keys instead of the standard 88 

They also make an upright, the 52” 130. This model has the subtle nuances and powerful bass expected of a grand with precise action and controllability.  

Lastly, the Bösendorfer Disklavier Edition melds a legendary traditional approach to piano manufacturing with sophisticated scientific modelling and measuring technology. The ability to record and play back one’s own playing in precise articulation and authenticity yields more valuable evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the Disklavier ENSPIRE player technology developed by Yamaha provides a vast library of performances that can be enjoyed and studied.  

Experience Bösendorfer for yourself

All Bösendorfer Grands share distinct and fundamental features in how they are crafted. It’s the unique Bösendorfer DNA — the warm yet brilliantly colorful sound of a Bösendorfer instrument. 

Different than other makers, Bösendorfer constructs pianos concentrating on the use of spruce. More than 80% of the carefully selected elite-grade spruce, noted for its use in the finest musical instruments can be found in all Bösendorfer pianos. Similar in principle to a violin, the whole body – not exclusively the soundboard – supports sound formation. When a note is played, the integrated spruce components become acoustically active, forming a complete resonating body that allows the whole instrument to project your play and help create the luxurious and velvety Viennese sound.

Visit our showroom to experience these stunning pianos in person.  

Contact Classic Pianos with your piano questions!

Are you ready to embark on a new adventure? Experience the many ways bringing a piano into your home, institution, or studio can enrich your life. The piano has served as the foundation of families and communities for hundreds of years, thanks to its deep cultural and historical traditions. We encourage you to carry on these customs while creating new traditions in your home.

Our team of experienced piano specialists is ready to guide you through our vast selection of new and used pianos until you find the one that’s right for you, no matter where you are on your musical journey! Contact us online or call 503-239-9969 today.