Pianos that strike a chord with adherents

Steinway piano details. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Steinway piano details.
(Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Great pianos are like sports cars: They have passionate adherents, their owners are often fiercely loyal to one brand, and at the top of the line, the differences between one and another come down in part to personal preference. Here’s a rundown of some of the top names in the field.


Famed as the quintessential Viennese piano and certainly one of the oldest makers still in existence (founded in 1828), Bösendorfer is known for the warmth and sophistication of its sound. It’s not as loud as some instruments, a deliberate choice by a manufacturer that deliberately uses softer wood on the rim of the frame to create a softer and less ringing tone. The company was purchased by Yamaha in 2008. Two venerable German brands are Blüthner, manufactured in Leipzig continuously since 1853 and thus a witness to East German history, and Steingraeber, located in Bayreuth since 1852 and now run by the sixth generation of its founding family. Adherents of Steingraeber tend to wax particularly passionate about the instrument’s sheer beauty. Full story.

Anne Midgette (The Washington Post) / September 4, 2015

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