We believe a piano is so much more than just an instrument.
For many, a piano is an enormous part of their life and for some, even a part of their identity. As such, it is crucial that for a true playing experience, you can find a brand that reflects your own ideologies and your own musical vision.
In the first of our piano philosophy focus pieces, we are starting with the pinnacle of acoustic piano building, C.Bechstein. Today we are exploring not only the philosophy of this almighty brand, but highlighting some of their key innovations and mindsets towards the future.
Whether you are an avid C.Bechstein lover, or have never encountered their incredibly pure sound (you’re in for a treat!), we hope you learn something new here today.
In order to learn the true meaning behind the C.Bechstein brand, we knew we wanted to get the information straight from the heart of the company, so have been busy speaking with C. Bechstein employees. The information below comes from Ralf Dewor, Chief Sales Officer and key member of the Board of Directors for C.Bechstein to offer his personal insight into what makes a C.Bechstein piano so special.
The History of C.Bechstein:
Working with C.Bechstein, we are met with a host of inspirational quotes and personality, one statement that C.Bechstein live by comes from leading French pianist and composer Claude Debussy:
“One should only write piano music for the Bechstein.”
Quite the statement, but one that C.Bechstein (and we) also concur with. For countless reasons, Debussy’s statement still rings true today with the same level (if not even more) potency.
Founded in 1853 by Carl Bechstein, C.Bechstein was formed from a passion of both piano building and entrepreneurial innovation. Due to their meticulous creation and pristine construction, Carl Bechstein’s pianos quickly became world leaders for the most famous musicians of the time. By the turn of the 20th Century, Bechstein had already built over 4000 pianos for royalty, master musicians and noble houses throughout Europe.
It was also at this time that C.Bechstein had 4 retail stores in the most cultural and prominent cities in Europe: Berlin, Paris, London and St Petersburg. This was all part of Carl Bechstein’s vision for bringing the pianos to the pianists, instead of the other way around. To feel the culture of a city, one must be within it. To catch the pulse of musical innovation, one must surround themselves with the innovators. To meet the needs of the customer, the piano must be close to it’s player. These are all statements which help solidify C.Bechstein as the leaders of acoustic piano innovation.
No two C.Bechstein, or their sister brand, W.Hoffman and Zimmermann pianos feel or sound truly the same, so to truly experience their sound quality, feel and majesty, you must be in the same room.
At Millers, in order to offer the true C.Bechstein experience, we offer all of our demonstrations via appointment to give you a private and personal experience whilst exploring these instruments. Learn more here.
C.Bechstein want those playing their instruments to feel a part of the manufacturing and creation process to help fulfil your musical fantasies. For them, piano building is a sharing of ideas and constant looking towards the future. They want to transfer their passion for piano building to help you unlock your full potential. That is why they work so closely with leading piano retailers (such as ourselves) to bring the pianos to you as conveniently as possible.
Ralf perhaps summed this up best during our interview with him when he said: “We’re talking about a musical instrument that goes straight to the heart, so you don’t want second best. With a brand like C.Bechstein, you know you’re only working with the best of the best.”
This quest for perfection and creating the perfect piano is reflected in every aspect of C.Bechstein’s philosophy, but can once again be summed up perfectly by the beautiful statement from Chögyam Trungpa : “The path is the goal.”
When looking to create perfection, one must always be looking towards the future, however ultimately perfect comes in the moment. Ralf explains that C.Bechstein are constantly aiming to achieve this in all areas of their company and philosophy. Be it piano building, construction, processes or customer service, the journey to finding your perfect piano is what truly matters.
The Future Of C.Bechstein
What is particularly interesting about C.Bechstein, despite being Europe’s most prestigious piano manufacturer and also a world leader in the professional industry, it is still very much a company focused around family and tailoring the needs of the individual. Over 90% of the shares of C.Bechstein belong to Stefan Freymuth, the CEO of C.Bechstein.
Whereas many manufacturers are constantly looking to increase the lower end of piano manufacturing, C.Bechstein are committed to building the future of the acoustic piano for the next generations of piano players. By reinvesting profits into new machinery and developments in technology, C.Bechstein aim to continue to meet the needs of the modern, technology focused pianist, without reducing the tonal quality and vastness of a true acoustic piano. This is perhaps best exemplified by the C.Bechstein Vario system, a fully silent system compatible with every C.Bechstein piano.
To finish this focus on the philosophy of C.Bechstein, we’ll leave you with another of Ralf’s incredibly poetic statements.
“When you play C.Bechstein piano, it connects with you. It’s not only what you want, but it inspires you to create new ideas. We believe every C.Bechstein player comes to a point where you develop a special connection with the instrument. That is what we invite all of our customers to experience.”
Want to learn more about the C.Bechstein piano range? Or book a demonstration of a C.Bechstein piano in one of our showrooms? Contact us today to learn more.