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.

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 No.
Year
 
Serial No.
Year
 
Serial No.
Year
 
Serial No.
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