Top makes of German & Austrian pianos
These are generally considered to be the best in the world, owing to their rich tone quality and good action; they can also look stunning. Good looks are an important factor in our choice of which pianos to take into stock. Here is a list of the most common ones found in the UK, in rough order of most to least common, together with a brief comment. For more detailed information go to the links:
(about 30% of all German pianos in the UK) The most common top German make found in the UK. Once restored these can be a dream to play, with a fluid action and unique “woody” tone. They are good for accompanying, of medium volume.
(25%) Before Bechstein overtook them in about 1902, these were the most common German pianos in the UK and Europe. There are two main types, the older “patent” action ones that are mellow with a smooth light action (90%) and the baby grands from about 1920 with a normal roller action and also mellow tone (10%).
(15%) The best known top make in the world, restored Steinways have a rich full tone and responsive touch. They are usually powerful in tone. Steinways are also the preferred piano on the concert stage with nearly all top venues using them. Modern used Steinways are in great demand and difficult to find. Steinways are also made in the USA.
(3%). These Austrian pianos are characterised by a serious, rich and powerful tone and fine action. The most common in the UK are 1900-1935 baby grands 170cm long, followed by modern 200cm grands and tall uprights. They are also popular on the concert stage, some having extra keys in the bottom bass.
Other German and Austrian makers with some top quality pianos are (in rough order of most common – least common) Grotrian Steinweg, Richard Lipp, Seiler, Fazioli, Feurich, Steingraeber and Sauter. For information on these please see our Common Makes in the UK section.