The Grotrian piano has a long and storied history and an almost mythical attraction for serious piano enthusiasts who are looking for that extra “something” beyond the ordinary. Germany is one of the most celebrated countries in the world for piano building and the award winning Grotrian is among the most prestigious pianos from that country. Friedrich Grotrian, the patriarch of the family, began building pianos 175 years ago and the company is currently in its sixth generation family of owner/operators. It makes a difference when your name is on your instrument.
In the 1880’s, fifty years after the establishment of their successful company and in order to expand their knowledge base, the family decided to send grandson Wili Grotrian to study piano building techniques and innovation with other great piano builders of the world. Willi studied piano making with Wm. Knabe & Co. in Baltimore, Maryland, and Pleyel, Wolff et Cie in Paris along with other world-class builders. The results were even greater prestige and advancement of the piano building craft for the Grotrian. The company has always been built on the pillars of innovation, sound and extraordinary craftsmanship. The piano was preferred by Ignacy Paderewski and Clara Schumann and was famously know as purveyor to some 30 “Kaisers, Kings and royal houses.”
The modern Grotrian now has a strong advocate in piano technician and authority Larry Fine. In his highly regarded reference The Piano Book, he ranks the Grotrian among the “highest quality,” on par with Hamburg-built Steinways, Faziolis and Bösendorfers and interesting ranked higher than New York-built Steinways.
Subjectively, the Grotrian piano has what can best be described as a true singing tone with a wonderful sustaining treble, darker tenor and a powerful bass that is without stridency or harshness. The sound is unique and expressive and the piano is a joy to play. Portland Piano Company is Oregon’s Grotrian dealer and you are invited to come try one of these magnificent instruments and hear the difference for yourself.
Finally, it is interesting to note that throughout the world – with the exception of the US – the piano is known as the Grotrian-Steinweg. The factory was named for two original partners: Grotrian and Henrich Steinweg. The later partner moved to America, changed his name to Henry Steinway and founded the Steinway and Sons company. In a legal agreement between the two companies the Grotrian-Steinweg is known only as the Grotrian in the US.