[2023] The Oldest Piano Companies: A Journey Through Time

Are you curious about the oldest piano companies in the world? Join us on a journey through time as we explore the rich history of these iconic brands. From their humble beginnings to their enduring legacies, these piano manufacturers have shaped the industry and continue to captivate musicians and enthusiasts alike. So, let’s dive in and discover the fascinating stories behind the oldest piano companies!

Table of Contents

Quick Answer

The oldest piano companies in the world are:

  1. Bösendorfer – Established in 1828
  2. Steinway & Sons – Established in 1853
  3. Broadwood & Sons – Established in 1732
  4. Erard – Established in 1777
  5. Yamaha – Established in 1887

CHECK PRICE on: Bösendorfer Pianos | Steinway & Sons Pianos | Broadwood & Sons Pianos | Erard Pianos | Yamaha Pianos

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Bösendorfer is the oldest premium piano builder, established in 1828.
  • Steinway & Sons is renowned for its craftsmanship and was established in 1853.
  • Broadwood & Sons is one of the oldest piano manufacturers, founded in 1732.
  • Erard is known for its innovative piano designs and was established in 1777.
  • Yamaha, a well-known brand in the music industry, entered the piano market in 1887.


The history of piano manufacturing is a tapestry woven with passion, innovation, and craftsmanship. Over the centuries, several piano companies have emerged, each leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Let’s delve into the stories of the oldest piano companies and discover what sets them apart.

1. Bösendorfer: A Legacy of Excellence

Founded in 1828 by Ignaz Bösendorfer in Vienna, Austria, Bösendorfer is the world’s oldest premium piano builder. From its inception, Bösendorfer pianos gained a sterling reputation and acclaim among local artists and musicians. In 1838, composer Franz Liszt played on a Bösendorfer grand piano and was pleased with its ability to handle his forceful playing. This encounter solidified Bösendorfer’s reputation as a piano maker of exceptional quality.

Bösendorfer pianos are still crafted by hand in Vienna using traditional techniques. The company offers a range of grand pianos, including the iconic Imperial 290 with 97 keys, providing an extended range for pianists. They also produce upright pianos known for their precise action and controllability, such as the 52″ 130 model.

In 2008, Yamaha acquired Bösendorfer, but both companies continue to operate independently. This collaboration allowed Yamaha to expand into the high-end piano market while preserving Bösendorfer’s reputation and sound.

To experience the timeless beauty and exquisite sound of Bösendorfer pianos, we recommend visiting the Classic Pianos showroom or contacting them for more information.

CHECK PRICE on: Bösendorfer Pianos | Bösendorfer Official Website

2. Steinway & Sons: The Epitome of Craftsmanship

Established in 1853 by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway, Steinway & Sons has become synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship and unrivaled quality. From its humble beginnings in New York City, the company quickly gained recognition for its innovative designs and commitment to excellence.

Steinway pianos are renowned for their rich, expressive sound and precise touch. Each piano is meticulously handcrafted, taking up to a year to complete. The company offers a wide range of grand and upright pianos, catering to the needs of professional musicians and discerning enthusiasts.

Steinway & Sons has received numerous accolades and awards for its contributions to the piano industry. Their commitment to quality and innovation has solidified their position as one of the most respected piano manufacturers in the world.

CHECK PRICE on: Steinway & Sons Pianos | Steinway & Sons Official Website

3. Broadwood & Sons: Pioneers of the Modern Piano

Founded in 1732 by Burkat Shudi, Broadwood & Sons is one of the oldest piano manufacturers in the world. The company played a pivotal role in the development of the modern piano, introducing significant innovations that shaped the instrument’s design and sound.

Broadwood pianos are known for their robust construction and powerful, resonant tone. The company’s commitment to innovation led to the creation of the “English Grand Action,” a mechanism that improved the piano’s touch and responsiveness.

Throughout its long history, Broadwood & Sons has supplied pianos to renowned composers and musicians, including Ludwig van Beethoven and Frédéric Chopin. Today, the company continues to produce pianos of exceptional quality, blending tradition with modern technology.

CHECK PRICE on: Broadwood & Sons Pianos | Broadwood & Sons Official Website

4. Erard: Innovators in Piano Design

Established in 1777 by Sébastien Erard, Erard is renowned for its innovative piano designs and technical advancements. The company’s commitment to excellence and craftsmanship quickly propelled it to the forefront of the piano industry.

Erard pianos are known for their distinctive sound and touch. Sébastien Erard introduced several groundbreaking innovations, including the double escapement mechanism, which allowed for faster repetition and enhanced control. These advancements revolutionized piano playing and influenced the design of future instruments.

Throughout its history, Erard pianos have been favored by renowned composers such as Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt. Today, the company continues to produce pianos that embody the spirit of innovation and artistry.

CHECK PRICE on: Erard Pianos | Erard Official Website

5. Yamaha: Blending Tradition and Innovation

Established in 1887, Yamaha is a well-known brand in the music industry, offering a wide range of musical instruments and audio equipment. While Yamaha is not as old as some of the other piano companies on this list, it has made a significant impact on the piano market.

Yamaha pianos are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and versatility. The company combines traditional piano-making techniques with innovative technology to create instruments that cater to the needs of musicians at all levels.

Yamaha offers a diverse lineup of pianos, including grand pianos, upright pianos, and digital pianos. Their commitment to quality and innovation has made them a popular choice among musicians worldwide.

CHECK PRICE on: Yamaha Pianos | Yamaha Official Website


Sunset through fog on snowy hills. Taken during a rough hike around Mullfjället mountain in Sweden.

Who are the Big 4 piano manufacturers?

The Big 4 piano manufacturers are:

  1. Bösendorfer
  2. Steinway & Sons
  3. Yamaha
  4. Kawai

These companies have established themselves as leaders in the piano industry, known for their exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to quality.

Read more about “Who are the Big 4 piano manufacturers?”

What is the most famous piano company?

Steinway & Sons is widely regarded as the most famous piano company. With a rich history dating back to 1853, Steinway pianos have become synonymous with excellence and are favored by many renowned musicians and institutions.

Read more about “… The Old Piano Company in New York: A Comprehensive History”

Who are the historic piano makers?

Some of the historic piano makers include:

  1. Bösendorfer
  2. Steinway & Sons
  3. Broadwood & Sons
  4. Erard
  5. Bechstein
  6. Blüthner
  7. Pleyel

These companies have played a significant role in shaping the piano industry and have a long-standing legacy of producing exceptional instruments.

Read more about “… Who are the Old English Piano Makers?”

Who are the best piano manufacturers?

The best piano manufacturers are subjective and depend on individual preferences. However, some of the highly regarded piano manufacturers include:

  1. Bösendorfer
  2. Steinway & Sons
  3. Yamaha
  4. Kawai
  5. Fazioli
  6. Bechstein
  7. Blüthner

These companies are known for their commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and producing pianos of exceptional quality.

Read more about “American Piano Manufacturers …: A Comprehensive Guide”


In conclusion, the oldest piano companies have left an indelible mark on the industry, shaping the art of piano making and captivating musicians worldwide. From Bösendorfer’s legacy of excellence to Steinway & Sons’ unparalleled craftsmanship, each company has its unique story to tell. Whether you’re a professional pianist or an enthusiast, exploring the pianos crafted by these historic manufacturers is a journey worth taking.

If you’re interested in learning more about piano brands, check out our Piano Brand Guides and Piano History articles. For comprehensive piano buying advice, don’t miss our Piano Buying Guide.

Review Team
Review Team

The Popular Brands Review Team is a collective of seasoned professionals boasting an extensive and varied portfolio in the field of product evaluation. Composed of experts with specialties across a myriad of industries, the team’s collective experience spans across numerous decades, allowing them a unique depth and breadth of understanding when it comes to reviewing different brands and products.

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