Piano’s Maene P
iano’s Maene operates one of the biggest piano centres in Europe. Based in Ruiselede near Ghent in Belgium, the company combines piano manufacturing and restoration with retail and leasing, all under one roof. Their showroom in the heart of Brussels also houses a concert hall and practice rooms.
Since the late 1980s, Piano’s Maene has steadily built a reputation as an exceptional maker of replica historical keyboard instruments as well as producing their own line of entry-level and mid-priced acoustic pianos under the brand Doutreligne. In 2015, Piano’s Maene collaborated with pianist Daniel Barenboim to design and build a straightstrung concert grand using modern materials and technology. This prototype led to the launch of the Maene Straight Strung range, which offers an alternative to the dominant cross-strung design of other leading brands.
instruments in 1960 and by 1972 was also an official Yamaha dealer.
Albert’s son Chris Maene demonstrated his passion and skill for the business when he built a harpsichord at the age of 16. Four years later, in 1973, Chris joined the family firm and made his first replica fortepiano. He succeeded his father as head of the business in 1984, heralding a new period of creativity and expansion as the company grew to employ 30 people across its retail, rental and workshop divisions. Piano’s Maene became Belgium’s exclusive importer of Steinway & Sons in 2002.
Piano’s Maene was founded in 1938 by organist Albert Maene and his wife Zulma Doutreligne. Maene learnt the art of piano tuning from a local organ builder and was quick to capitalise on his skills after the Second World War. He began selling Kawai
Chris Maene’s sons Dominique and Frederic joined the business in 2004. Piano’s Mane now employs 40 people and supplies instruments to some of Europe’s most important concert halls, such as the Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin and Concertgebouw Brugge. Both venues own a Chris Maene Straight Strung Concert Grand, while other promoters that rent these instruments include Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw and conservatoire, BOZAR arts centre in Brussels and Flanders Festival (AMUZ).
Among the leading artists who have performed on Maene’s Straight Strung pianos are Martha Argerich, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Emanuel Ax, Stephen Hough, Kirill Gerstein and Nino Gvetadze. Since 2018, these instruments have been used on 41 recordings released by leading labels Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, Decca, Challenge International, B-Records, Outhere and many others.
48 International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories
Two views of Chris Maene’s Straight Strung Concert Grand CM284