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The History of the Bluthner Piano

Although Bluthner came into prominence at the same time as Bechstein, the qualities of the instruments contrast greatly. The Bluthner piano has a much clearer tone than the extravagant sound of the Bechstein, and the hammers and felts it uses are more compact.

Wilhelm Kempff described his Bluthner as being 'precise' and of 'unrivalled beauty.'

Julius Bluthner set about creating his company in 1853 , endorsing the philosophy of "Quality above everything". Eight grand pianos and two squares had been built by the first year.

He began displaying his instruments at exhibitions in 1854 where their potential as professional concert pianos as well as their elaborate case styles were highly acclaimed.

The path into the international market was paved in 1862 at an exhibition in Mersburg. The valuable medals and prizes the instruments claimed as a consequence throughout the history of the company can still be found on the soundboard of every instrument.

The increasing demands of the instruments lead to the enlargement of the factory in 1876 . In 1878 a concert hall was built in West Strasse, Leipzig; the location of the firm's headquarters. Instruments could be exhibited against a lavishly decorated background.

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It was in 1890 that Bluthner became one of the most important European piano firms. It was on increasingly high demand in Australia, South America and South Asia. Despite historical changes, Bluthner's impressive reputation is still maintained today.

In 1929 Bluthner published its first edition of the journal 'Bluthner Freund'. It would go on to be published about three times a year. It informed pianists, music enthusiasts and avid supporters of Bluthner fascinating facts about its factory and concert life news.

In 1932 the German Admiralty asked Bluthner, with its innovative image, to build a lightweight grand piano for the airship Hindenburg. A piano concerto was performed and broadcast live on the first crossing of the Atlantic. The success impressed everyone greatly, and the technological accomplishment was marvelled at.

The Bluthner factory was hit by an air raid at the end of 1943 . It was rebuilt by Dr Rudolf Bluthner-Haessler in 1945 when the war was over.

The acclaimed pianist Wilhelm Kempff bought a piano from Bluthner in 1967 , and, deeply impressed by it, continued to strongly support the Bluthner brand.

The Bluthner concert grand was awarded with a gold medal at Leipzig Fair in 1981 ; the fifth gold medal to date within Bluthner's history. A concert was held in celebration.

In 1996, to meet the growing demands of the now greatly recognized company, a new Bluthner factory was built in one of Leipzig's suburbs, Störmthal. Despite the company's advance in headquarters, their craftsmanship remained conventional.

A new Exhibition Hall was built for Bluthner instruments in 1997 . The pianos could now be displayed in large numbers; in total 30 uprights and 50 grands were usually exhibited.

In 2003 Bluthner became the desired instrument for prestigious pianists including Mikhail Pletnev and Artur Pizarro, establishing its status as one of the world's most respected piano companies.

Serial Numbers

SERIAL NUMBER YEAR SERIAL NUMBER YEAR SERIAL NUMBER YEAR SERIAL NUMBER YEAR
700 1853 84000 1911 127000 1943 143000 1976
1500 1855 87000 1912 128000 1946 143500 1977
2500 1860 90000 1913 128100 1947 144000 1978
4800 1862 93000 1914 128200 1948 144400 1979
6500 1865 94000 1915 128500 1949 144900 1980
8100 1868 95000 1916 128800 1950 145200 1981
9200 1870 96000 1917 129100 1951 145600 1982
13200 1875 97000 1918 129400 1952 146000 1983
18500 1880 98000 1919 129800 1953 146400 1984
25000 1885 100000 1920 130100 1954 146800 1985
31000 1890 101500 1921 130600 1955 147200 1986
32000 1891 103000 1922 131000 1956 147500 1987
34000 1892 105000 1923 131600 1957 147800 1988
36000 1893 107000 1924 132000 1958 148000 1989
39000 1894 109000 1925 132450 1959 148200 1990
42000 1895 111000 1926 133006 1960 148400 1991
45000 1896 112000 1927 135500 1961 148600 1992
47000 1897 113000 1928 136000 1962 148800 1993
49000 1898 114000 1929 136500 1963 149000 1994
52000 1899 115000 1930 137000 1964 149200 1995
55000 1900 115500 1931 137500 1965 149400 1996
57500 1901 116000 1932 138000 1966 149600 1997
60000 1902 117000 1933 138500 1967 149800 1998
62500 1903 118000 1934 139000 1968 150000 1999
65000 1904 119500 1935 139500 1969 150200 2000
67500 1905 120700 1936 140000 1970 150400 2001
70000 1906 122000 1937 140500 1971 150600 2002
72500 1907 123500 1938 141000 1972 150800 2003
75000 1908 124500 1939 141500 1973
78000 1909 125500 1940 142000 1974
81000 1910 126000 1942 142500 1975