PianoBuyer

BÖSENDORFER

Yamaha Corporation of America
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, California 90622
714-522-9415
[email protected]
www.boesendorfer.com

Pianos made by: L. Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH, Vienna, Austria

Bösendorfer was founded in 1828 in Vienna, Austria, by Ignaz Bösendorfer. The young piano maker rose to fame when Franz Liszt endorsed his concert grand after being unable to destroy it in playing, as he had every other piano set before him. Ignaz died in 1858 and the company was taken over by his son, Ludwig. Under Ludwig’s direction, the firm greatly prospered and the pianos became even more famous throughout Europe and the world. Ludwig, having no direct descendants, sold the firm to a friend, Carl Hutterstrasser, in 1909. Carl’s sons, Wolfgang and Alexander, became partners in 1931. Bösendorfer was sold to Kimball International, a U.S. manufacturer of low- and medium-priced pianos, in 1966. In 2002 Kimball, having left the piano business, sold Bösendorfer to BAWAG Bank, Austria’s third largest financial institution. The bank encountered financial troubles unrelated to Bösendorfer and sold the piano company to Yamaha in 2008. Yamaha says it will not be making any changes to Bösendorfer’s location or methods of production. Bösendorfer manufactures only around 300 pianos a year.

Bösendorfer makes a 52″ upright and eight models of grand piano, from 5′ 1″ to the 9′ 6″ Imperial Concert Grand, one of the world’s largest pianos. The company also makes slightly less expensive versions of four grand models known as the Conservatory Series (CS). Conservatory Series grands are like the regular grands except that the case receives a satin finish instead of a high polish, and some cabinet details are simpler. Previously, the CS models also had a satin-finished plate, and were loop-strung instead of single-strung, but in 2009, regarding these features, the specifications of the regular models were restored. All Bösendorfer grand pianos have three pedals, the middle pedal being a sostenuto.

One of the most distinctive features of the grands is that a couple of models have more than 88 keys. The 7′ 4″ model has 92 keys and the 9′ 6″ model has 97 keys. The lowest strings vibrate so slowly that it’s actually possible to hear the individual beats of the vibration. Piano technicians say that it is next to impossible to tune these strings by ear, although electronic tuning aids can help accomplish this. Of course, these notes are rarely used, but their presence, and the presence of the extra-long bridge and larger soundboard to accommodate them, add extra power, resonance, and clarity to the lower regular notes of the piano. In order not to confuse pianists, who rely on the normal keyboard configuration for spatial orientation while playing, the keys for these extra notes are usually covered with a black ivorine material.

The rim of the Bösendorfer grand is built quite differently from those of all other grands. Instead of veneers bent around a form, the inner rim is made in solid sections of spruce and beech that are joined together. The outer rim has a solid core of quartersawn spruce that is grooved by Bösendorfer craftsmen so that it can be bent around the inner rim; after bending, the grooved sections are filled with spruce inserts. Because spruce is better at transmitting than reflecting sound, the extensive use of spruce in the rim has the effect of making the rim an acoustical extension of the soundboard, causing the entire body of the piano to resonate. This, along with the scale design, may be why Bösendorfers tend to have a more delicate treble, and a bass that features the fundamental tone more than the higher harmonics. Although the stereotype that “Bösendorfers are better for Mozart than Rachmaninoff” may be an exaggeration (as evidenced by the number of performing artists who successfully use the piano in concert for a wide variety of music), the piano’s not-so-“in-your-face” sound is certainly ideally suited for the classical repertoire, in addition to whatever else it can do.

In recent years, Bösendorfer has made some refinements to its designs. The relatively newer 6′ 1″, 7′, and 9′ 2″ models have been designed specifically to appeal to pianists looking for a more familiar sound. These models, now called the Vienna Concert (VC) series, have redesigned scaling and soundboard for greater sound projection, improved sustain, and a wider range of tonal color and dynamics. In all models, however, the distinctive Bösendorfer sound is still readily apparent. The 9′ 2″ model 280VC has been well accepted by concert pianists, and this and other VC models can now be found in leading musical institutions and concert halls.

In past years, Bösendorfer has introduced a number of interesting instruments in new cabinet styles. These include a Porsche-designed modern piano in aluminum and polished ebony (it can be special-ordered in any standard Porsche finish color); the Liszt, Vienna, and Chopin models of Victorian-styled pianos; and limited-edition models, such as the Liszt Anniversary, Beethoven, Mozart, Hummingbird, and Schönbrunn. Perhaps not to be outdone by Porsche, in 2009 Bösendorfer produced a model commissioned and designed by Audi on the occasion of that automaker’s 100th anniversary. In 2020, Bösendorfer introduced the limited-edition Secession model, the first in a series inspired by architectural milestones of Vienna.

Various Bösendorfer models are also available with the Yamaha Disklavier ENSPIRE system installed.

Perhaps the world’s most expensive piano inch for inch, Bösendorfer grands make an eloquent case for their prices. They are distinctive in both appearance and sound, and are considered to be among the finest pianos in the world.

Warranty: Acoustic Piano: 10 years, parts and labor. For models equipped with Disklavier feature: 5 years on the electronic/electromechanical parts. The warranty is to the original owner and is not transferable.

Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Disklavier Enspire PRO on select grand models, add $45,998 (SMP). Silent Piano SH2 System, add $6,998 (SMP) for verticals, $16,398 (SMP) for select grands.

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Bosendorfer Verticals
130 52 Satin and Polished Ebony 88,999 82,998
130 52 Satin and Polished White, other colors 103,999 96,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 110,999 102,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 117,999 110,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 122,999 114,998
Bosendorfer Grands
170VC 5 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 146,999 138,998
170VC 5 7 Satin and Polished White, other colors 164,999 154,999
170VC 5 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 177,999 166,998
170VC 5 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 188,999 176,998
170VC 5 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 196,999 184,998
170VC 5 7 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 177,999 166,998
170VC 5 7 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 204,999 192,998
170VC 5 7 Liszt: Polished Vavona 211,999 198,998
170VC 5 7 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 237,999 224,998
170VC 5 7 Baroque: Light Satin Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 268,999 250,998
170VC 5 7 Artisan Satin and Polished 339,999 318,998
185VC CS 6 1 Conservatory Satin Ebony 140,999 132,998
185VC 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 155,999 146,998
185VC 6 1 Satin and Polished White, other colors 171,999 160,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 181,999 170,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 196,999 184,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 202,999 190,998
185VC 6 1 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 183,999 172,998
185VC 6 1 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 213,999 200,998
185VC 6 1 Liszt: Polished Vavona 217,999 204,998
185VC 6 1 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 242,999 228,998
185VC 6 1 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 247,999 232,998
185VC 6 1 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 272,999 254,998
185VC 6 1 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 286,999 268,998
185VC 6 1 Artisan Satin and Polished 352,999 330,998
200CS 6 7 Conservatory Satin Ebony 148,999 140,998
200 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 166,999 156,998
200 6 7 Satin and Polished White, other colors 185,999 174,998
200 6 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 198,999 186,998
200 6 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 213,999 200,998
200 6 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar, 222,999 208,998
200 6 7 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 196,999 184,998
200 6 7 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 231,999 218,998
200 6 7 Dragonfly: Maple and Polished Ebony 236,999 222,998
200 6 7 Liszt: Polished Vavona 236,999 222,998
200 6 7 Klimt "Woman in Gold" 202,999 190,998
200 6 7 Cocteau: Polished White 234,999 220,998
200 6 7 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 269,999 252,998
200 6 7 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 272,999 254,998
200 6 7 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 297,999 278,998
200 6 7 Artisan Satin and Polished 371,999 348,998
214VC CS 7 0 Conservatory Satin Ebony 160,999 152,998
214VC 7 0 Satin and Polished Ebony 177,999 166,998
214VC 7 0 Satin and Polished White, other colors 202,999 190,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 213,999 202,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 234,999 220,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 242,999 228,998
214VC 7 0 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 211,999 198,998
214VC 7 0 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 260,999 244,998
214VC 7 0 Liszt: Polished Vavona 260,999 244,998
214VC 7 0 Klimt "Woman in Gold" 213,999 202,998
214VC 7 0 Cocteau: Polished White 251,999 236,998
214VC 7 0 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 286,999 272,998
214VC 7 0 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 294,999 276,998
214VC 7 0 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 325,999 304,998
214VC 7 0 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 343,999 322,998
214VC 7 0 Audi Design Polished Ebony 415,999 392,998
214VC 7 0 Artisan Satin and Polished 415,999 392,998
214VC 7 0 Beethoven 250th Chrome Polished Ebony 234,999 220,998
214VC 7 0 Beethoven 250th Chrome Polished White 251,999 236,998
214VC 7 0 Camellia Polished Ebony & Maple w/Marquetry 260,999 244,998
214VC 7 0 Secession Polished Ebony w/Gold Leaf 277,999 260,998
225 7 4 Satin and Polished Ebony 209,999 196,998
225 7 4 Satin and Polished White, other colors 230,999 216,998
225 7 4 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 247,999 232,998
225 7 4 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 269,999 252,998
225 7 4 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar, 275,999 258,998
225 7 4 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 237,999 224,998
225 7 4 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 299,999 280,998
225 7 4 Liszt: Polished Vavona 299,999 280,998
225 7 4 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 339,999 318,998
225 7 4 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 371,999 348,998
225 7 4 Artisan Satin and Polished 465,999 436,998
230VC 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 211,999 198,998
230VC 7 6 Satin and Polished White, other colors 230,999 216,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 247,999 232,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 269,999 252,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 294,999 276,998
280VC 9 2 Satin and Polished Ebony 262,999 246,998
280VC 9 2 Satin and Polished White, other colors 292,999 274,998
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 316,999 296,998
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 339,999 318,999
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 358,999 334,998
280VC 9 2 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 310,999 290,998
280VC 9 2 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 380,999 356,998
280VC 9 2 Liszt: Polished Vavona 380,999 356,998
280VC 9 2 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 433,999 406,998
280VC 9 2 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 470,999 444,998
280VC 9 2 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 499,999 470,998
280VC 9 2 Artisan Satin and Polished 540,999 506,998
290 9 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 306,999 286,998
290 9 6 Satin and Polished White, other colors 336,999 316,998
290 9 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 364,999 342,998
290 9 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar, 409,999 384,998
290 9 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 394,999 370,998
290 9 6 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 352,999 330,998
290 9 6 Johann Strauss: Satin Cherry 440,999 412,998
290 9 6 Liszt: Polished Vavona 440,999 412,998
290 9 6 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 499,999 470,998
290 9 6 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 550,999 516,998
290 9 6 Artisan Satin and Polished 622,999 586,998

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