In 1966, Grotrian signed a US distribution deal that prompted Steinway & Sons to file a lawsuit challenging their German competitor’s use of the name ‘Grotrian-Steinweg’. Nine years later, the courts ruled that Grotrian must remove ‘Steinweg’ from their trade name in the US to avoid the two brands being confused.
Grotrian was headed by the family until 2000, when piano maker and businessman Burkhard Stein took the helm. In 2015, the Hong Kong-based Parsons Music Group became Grotrian’s majority shareholder with a view to expanding sales of the company’s instruments in China. They introduced new lines of midrange and entry-level Grotrian pianos in 2017: ‘Friedrich Grotrian’, comprising selected components manufactured in China and assembled in Germany; and ‘Wilhelm Grotrian’ , made in China with hammers and strings from Europe.
CURRENT INSTRUMENTS Acoustic pianos Grotrian’s premium instruments are manufactured at the company’s Braunschweig factory in Germany using the finest components and traditional craftsmanship. Their Concerto series comprises five grand models in lengths of 165mm to 277cmm, and six uprights ranging in height from 114cm to 132cm. These are complemented by four Conservatory models with similarly high construction standards at a slightly lower price point. All Grotrian instruments use Renner actions, Renner or Abel hammerheads, Röslau wire and Kluge or Laukhuff keys.
Unique design features include Grotrian’s ‘homogeneous soundboard’, which uses different woods to optimise the tone of each register. The company’s technicians have also developed a method for attaching the iron frame to the edge of the rim, allowing the soundboard to vibrate more freely. The resulting sound is clear and expressive, with unusually long sustain.
Pricing of Grotrian Concerto uprights starts at £13,565 for the G-113, up to £31,260 for the G-132. Grands cost from £48,340 for the G-165 to £126,540 for the G-277. Special designs are available at extra cost, including a ‘Grotrian Duo’ double piano for two pianists. IP
Grotrian grand pianos Series Model Length cm Weight kgs Concerto G-277 277 550
G-225 225 400 G-208 208 350 G-192 192 320 G-165 165 290 Conservatory G-192 192 320 Grotrian upright pianos Series Model Height cm Weight kgs Concerto G-132 132 295
G-131 131 295 G-124 124 255 G-118 118 220 G-114 114 215 G-113 113 215 Conservatory G-122 122 235
G-115 115 220 G-112 112 210
WHAT ARTISTS SAY ‘From now on, only this grand piano and no other’ Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
‘My wonderful Grotrian piano, at the same time powerful and poetical’ Jean Françaix (1912-1997)
Visit Grotrian’s YouTube channel to view a tour of their Braunschweig factory: youtube.com/channel/UCz8Kj93w2A4IbeOFPNSFDQ
International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories 33