P I A N O   3 0 0
Celebrating Three Centuries of People and Pianos

 

A Chronological Timeline

 

 

[1700s]     [1800s]     [1900s]

 


 

1700s

1700

Bartolomeo Cristofori's "new invention" of the piano e forte recorded, Florence

1711

Scipione Maffei publishes a journal article about the piano

1716

Jean Marius submits hammer-keyboard designs to Royal Academy of Sciences, Paris

1721

Christoph Gottlieb Schröter submits hammer-keyboard designs to the Saxon Court, Dresden

1725

Translation of Maffei's article into German stimulates widespread interest

1725

Pianos advertised, Vienna

1730s

Gottfried Silbermann experiments with pianos derived from Cristofori, Dresden

Pianos known to be in Portuguese and Spanish courts

1730

Fickert advertises hammer-keyboard instrument, Leipzig

1732

First published piano music, by Ludovico Giustini

1739

Domenico del Mela builds earliest known upright piano, Gagliano, Italy

1740s

Christian Ernst Friederici makes upright pianos, Gera, Germany

1740

George Frederic Handel plays on a piano, London

1747 

J. S. Bach plays a Silberman piano at the Prussian Court, Potsdam, and composes Musical Offering

1750s

Pianos advertised for sale in France

1753-62

C. P. E. Bach: Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments published

1760s

Pianos derived from Cristofori built in Spain and Portugal;

Pantalons, small hammer-keyboard instruments, made in Germany

1763

Reports of earliest public performances on pianos by Johann Baptist Schmid, Vienna

1766

Probable invention of the square piano by Johannes Zumpe, London

1767

Early public piano performances, one by Johann Christian Bach, London

1768

First public piano performance in Paris

1770s

Johann Andreas Stein perfects the "Viennese" grand piano, Augsburg, Germany

1771

Americus Backers produces the English grand piano, London;

Earliest reported public piano performance in North America by David Propert, Boston

1773

First public piano performance in New York

Broadwood Company established, London

1775

John Behrendt makes and advertises a piano, Philadelphia

1777

Sébastien Erard makes his first square piano, Paris

Robert Stodart patents the English grand action, London

1779

Muzio Clementi publishes his first piano sonatas, London

1780s

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach publishes series of sonatas and fantasias for piano

Haydn takes up the piano

1780

Anton Walter making pianos, including one for Mozart, Vienna

1781

Mozart and Clementi 'duel' in Vienna

1783

Paris Conservatoire founded

1784

William Southwell makes a 5 1/2-octave square piano, Dublin

1784-6

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 14-25 composed

1786

John Geib patents the "grasshopper" square action, used for 70 years, London

Erard establishes piano manufacturing in London

1794

John Broadwood makes 5 1/2-octave grand piano, London

William Stodart patents a large upright piano, a grand set on its head, London

Matthäus Andreas Stein and Nanette Streicher, children of Johann Andreas Stein, move to Vienna

Ibach established, Schwelm

1794-5

Haydn: 'London' piano sonatas and trios composed

1795

Johann Jakob Könnicke makes a 6-octave, 6-keyboard piano, Vienna

Beethoven: 3 Piano Trios, Op. 1 and 3 Piano Sonatas, Op. 2 published

1796

Broadwood makes a 6-octave grand for the Queen of Spain, London

1797

First piano magazine, The Pianoforte, London

James Hewitt: The Battle of Trenton published

1798

François-Adrien Boieldieu named professor of piano at Paris Conservatoire

[1700s]     [1900s]

   

 


 

 

1800s

1800

John Isaac Hawkins, Philadelphia, and Matthias Müller, Vienna, make small uprights

Alexander Reinagle: Piano Sonatas completed, Philadelphia

1802

Nanette Streicher separates from her brother, Matthäus Andreas Stein, to make pianos in her own name

1803

Erard Brothers of Paris present Beethoven with a piano

1804

Jan Ladislav Dussek plays a concerto with his profile toward the audience, Prague

1807

Pleyel established, Paris

1808

Erard patents the agraffe, a metal stud through which strings pass from the tuning pin

c1810

English and Continental makers design 6-octave pianos, English from C-c, German from F-f

"Upright grands" made in England and "giraffes" in Germany and Austria

1811

Robert Wornum patents small upright, London

Conrad Graf established, Vienna

Prague Conservatory founded

1816

Nanette Streicher makes 6 1/2-octave grands, C-f, Vienna

1817

Thomas Broadwood, London presents a grand piano to Beethoven, Vienna

Vienna Conservatory founded

1819

Carl Sauter Company established, Spaichingen, Germany

1820

First successful use of metal in grand piano frame by Thom and Allen, London

1821

Sébastien Erard patents the double-escapement "repetition" action, basis of modern grand action, Paris

Weber: Konzertstück composed

1822

Erard makes a 7-octave piano

1823

Jonas Chickering begins making pianos in Boston

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Piano Sonatas Nos. 31 & 32 published

1825

Alpheus Babcock patents first single-piece metal frame for squares, Boston

1826

Henri Pape patents use of felt for hammer covering, Paris

Robert Wornum patents tape-check action, the basis for modern uprights, London

Clementi: Gradus ad parnassum published

Benjamin Carr: Analytical Instructor for the Pianoforte published

1828

Ignaz Bösendorfer making pianos, Vienna

Henri Pape first uses cross-stringing in small "console" uprights, Paris

Schubert: Last three piano sonatas composed

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instruction on the Art of Playing the Piano Forte published

1833

Chopin: Études Op. 10 published

1837

Knabe Company established, Baltimore

Schumann: Carnaval, Davidsbündlertänze, and Symphonic Études composed

Liszt and Thalberg 'duel' in Paris

1839

Moscheles: Méthode des méthodes published

Czerny: The Compete Theoretical and Practical Pianoforte School, Op. 500 published

Liszt establishes the solo recital, performing from memory without assisting artists

1840

Herz modifies Erard's "repetition" action

1841

Becker Company established, St. Petersburg

Liszt: Norma, Don Juan, and Robert le Diable Fantasies published

1843

Chickering patents one-piece metal frame for grands

Antoine-Jean Bord invents capo tasto bar (downbearing bar at tuning-pin end of strings)

Leipzig Conservatory founded

1845

Leopold De Meyer tours U.S.

1846

Henri Herz tours U.S.

1847

Gaveau Company established, Paris

1848

Debain invents an automatic mechanical piano, Paris

1849

Ed. Seiler Company established, Liegnitz/Kitzingen

1850

Heintzman Company established, Toronto

1851

"Great Exhibition" displays state-of-the-art pianos, Erard favored, London

1852

Mathushek Company established, New York

Weber established, New York

1853

Steinway & Sons, New York, Carl Bechstein, Berlin, and Blüthner, Leipzig, established

Chickering builds new factory, second largest building in U.S., Boston

Liszt: B minor Sonata composed

Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 composed

Louis Moreau Gottschalk returns to U.S. as a touring virtuoso

1855

William Mason establishes chamber music series in New York

1856

Wurlitzer Company established, Chicago

Thalberg tours U.S.

Lebert & Stark: Grand Theoretical and Practical Piano School published

1857

George Steck Company established, New York

Peabody Conservatory founded, Baltimore

1859

Henry Steinway, Jr. patents cross-stringing for grands

August Förster Company established, Lobau, Germany

1860

Julius Feurich established, Leipzig

Broadwood & Sons make their last square; uprights dominant in European homes

1862

At London Exposition, Steinway wins a medal with cross-strung grand

1864

Petrof Company established, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

1865

Grotrian Company established as successors to Theodore Steinway, Braunschweig, Germany

Oberlin Conservatory founded, Oberlin, Ohio

1867

Chickering and Steinway win the top prizes at Paris Exposition

New England Conservatory founded

1869

Balakirev: Islamey composed

1872

Theodore Steinway patents the duplex scale to enrich the tone

Steinway presents Anton Rubinstein's U.S. tour

Sohmer established, New York

1874

Albert Steinway patents the sostenuto pedal (middle pedal on modern grands)

1874

Musorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition composed

1875

Chickering presents Hans von Bülow's first U.S. tour

1878

A Japanese square is exhibited at Paris Exhibition

1880

Wurlitzer Company begins making pianos

Theodore Steinway develops the laminated grand piano rim

1881

Mason & Hamlin Company begins making pianos, Boston

1882

Louis Renner Company founded to make piano actions, Stuttgart, Germany

1885

Schimmel Company founded near Leipzig

Aeolian Organ & Music Co., later Aeolian Co., founded to make automatic organs, later automatic pianos

1888

Steinway & Sons makes its last square; other Americans continue making them

1891

D. H. Baldwin Company, Cincinnati, making pianos

Steinway presents Ignacy Jan Paderewski's first U.S. tour

1895

Story & Clark Company making pianos, Chicago, later Grand Haven, Michigan

Aeolian Company making automatic pianos, New York

1896

Kohler & Campbell Company established, New York

Edward MacDowell: Woodland Sketches composed

1899

Torakusu Yamaha begins making pianos, Hamamatsu, Japan

Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag published

Eubie Blake: Charleston Rag composed

First competition of pianists, Russia

[1700s]     [1800s]    

   

 


 

 

1900s

1900

E. S. Votey, Aeolian Company, patents pneumatic piano player, the "Pianola"

Baldwin wins grand prize at Paris Exposition

1901

Welte-Mignon invents a player-piano mechanism, Freiburg, Germany

1901

Debussy: Suite pour le piano composed

Ravel: Jeux d'eau composed

Piano Manufacturers Association founded, later PMAI

1903

Winter & Co. established, New York

Rachmaninoff: Ten Préludes, Op. 23 published

1904

American piano manufacturers make bonfire of square pianos, Atlantic City

1905

Hupfeld makes the "Dea" reproducing-piano mechanism, near Leipzig

The Juilliard School founded

1906

Gulbransen Company established, Chicago

1908

American Piano Co. founded, incorporates Chickering, Knabe, Weber, Haines Brothers, and others

National Association of Piano Tuners founded

1909

Albéniz: Iberia published

1910

Steinway & Sons moves its factory entirely from Manhattan to Astoria, Long Island

1911

Bartók: Allegro barbaro composed

Granados: Goyescas published

1912

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 composed

Eastman School of Music founded

1913

Aeolian Co. patents "Duo-Art Reproducing Piano," New York

American Piano Co. makes "Ampico" player mechanism, New York

1915

Charles Ives: Concord Sonata composed

1916

Mannes College of Music founded

1917

Manhattan School of Music founded

San Francisco Conservatory founded

1918

Hector Villa-Lobos: Prole do bebê composed

1919

156,000 pianos, 180,000 player pianos manufactured in U.S.

1923

Jelly Roll Morton's first recordings, Chicago

1924

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue premiered

Curtis Institute founded

1925

Henry Cowell: The Banshee composed

1927

Kawai Company making pianos, Hamamatsu, Japan

1928

Earl "Fatha" Hines records Apex Blues, Weather Bird

1928-30

Neo-Bechstein, electric piano with electromagnetic pickups to amplify struck strings

1929

Great Depression seriously limits piano manufacture everywhere

1932

American Piano Co. and Aeolian merge to form Aeolian American Corporation

Tobias Matthay: The Visible and Invisible in Pianoforte Technique

1933

Art Tatum's first professional solo recordings

Challen Company makes the largest (11-foot-8-inch) grand ever made, London

1935

Alfred Knight Company founded to make uprights, Essex, England

1939-45

World War II effectively halts piano manufacture everywhere

1940

John Cage: Bacchanale composed

American Association of Piano Technicians founded

1945

Mary Lou Williams: Zodiac Suite composed

1947

Conlon Nancarrow begins Studies for Player Piano

1948

Pierre Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 2 composed

1953

Liberace wins 2 Emmy Awards for network television programs

1955

Guangzhou-Pearl River Company established, Guangzhou, China

1958

Samick Company established, Inchon, S. Korea

Shanghai Piano Co. established, Shanghai

Beijing Piano Co. established, Beijing

Van Cliburn wins Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow

Piano Tuners and Piano Technicians Associations merge as Piano Technicians Guild

ca 1960

Harold Rhodes develops the electric piano (Fender-Rhodes)

1961

Pleyel, Erard, Gaveau merge

1966

Bösendorfer, Vienna, acquired by Kimball, Chicago

1968

Young Chang begins making pianos, Inchon, S. Korea

1969

Japanese piano production exceeds that of all other countries

Yamaha Japan's largest producer

Astin-Weight patents larger soundboard design for uprights, Salt Lake City

1971

Schimmel acquires Pleyel, Erard, Gaveau

1972

CBS buys Steinway & Sons

1973

Steve Reich: Six Pianos composed

1974

Baldwin buys Bechstein, Berlin

1975

Frederic Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated composed

1977

John Adams: Phrygian Gates composed

1980s

Development of computerized player pianos, Bösendorfer, Yamaha, Baldwin, and others

1980

Fazioli established, Sacile (Portenone), Italy

1985

A group of Boston businessmen buys Steinway & Sons from CBS

Aeolian Corporation disbanded

Wurlitzer buys Chickering name

1987

Baldwin sells Bechstein back to employees

1988

Klavins builds a 12-feet-high experimental upright, Bonn, Germany

1990

Young Chang buys Kurzweil Music Systems, American maker of electronic keyboards

PianoDisc (Music Systems Research) established, Sacramento

1991

Boston Piano Company established as Steinway subsidiary, New York

1993

Darrell Fandrich patents new upright action design, Seattle

1995

Steinway and Selmer merge into Steinway Musical Instruments

Baldwin buys Wurlitzer and Chickering names

1996

Music Systems Research takes control of Mason & Hamlin, Sohmer, and Knabe

Young Chang opens factory in Tianjin, China

2000

Piano300 exhibition opens at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

[1700s]     [1800s]     [1900s]

   

 

[Introduction] [Performances, Tours and More] [Exhibition] [Timeline]
[Credits] [Donors and Collaborators ] [Play Some Music!] [Piano Resources]

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