The Niendorf Piano Company was founded in 1896, by the brothers Karl and Hermann Niendorf, as an offshoot of an old, established family of instrument makers. The Niendorfs were particularly forward looking in their conception of piano design, and the company gained international recognition for the quality of its products, especially for its small grands. In 1972, along with a number of other Soviet-bloc piano makers, Niendorf was forced to nationalize, and became part of a consortium controlled by the German Piano Union. Following the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., the company was again privately owned, changed hands a number of times, and went out of business in 2006.
In 2015 Niendorf was revived, as a subsidiary of the Shanghai Eurasian Piano Company (also known as Mendelssohn Piano Company), under the direction of former Niendorf employee and piano craftsman Marcus Ernicke. The factory is located in Luckenwalde, Germany, near Berlin, employs 22 people, and makes about 60 upright and grand pianos a year under the Niendorf name. The company says that the pianos are entirely handcrafted in Germany from regionally sourced woods and other components, including Strunz soundboards, Renner actions, Abel hammers, Laukhuff keyboards, Röslau and Heller strings, Dehonit pinblocks, and Klinke bridge and tuning pins. The company is a member of the German Piano Manufacturers Association (BVK).
The keys of Niendorf grands are covered with a non-slippery, perspiration-absorbing ivory substitute. The piano cabinets are of classical elegance, with music desk and lyre of unique designs, and are manufactured using high-precision CNC machinery. The company uses 3-D computer-aided design to optimize the casting of its German-made iron plates. Every piano comes with a matching bench.
Currently in production are upright models 118 (46½") and 123 (48½"), and grand models 145 (4' 9"), 172 (5' 8"), 227 (7' 5"), and 275 (9'). At the end of 2018, the company plans to introduce its new model 135, a 53" concert upright. The introduction in 2017 of its model 275 concert grand was a milestone in the company’s history; the model was inaugurated by internationally known concert pianist Jörg Demus at the Niendorf concert hall, in Luckenwalde.
In addition to the all-German Niendorf pianos, the company also manufactures the international Niendorf & Hemprich series, a cooperative venture with Mendelssohn, in China. (The long history of the Hemprich brand name dates back to the company’s early days.) The most important parts of the piano, such as the soundboard, plate, pinblock, hammers, and strings, originate from German suppliers and are sent to China, where the pianos are manufactured to European standards, but at lower cost. The nearly complete instruments are then shipped to Niendorf in Germany, where the final musical finishing (tuning, regulating, voicing) is performed.
Warranty: Five years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.