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 models, add $41,998 (SMP).

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Bosendorfer Verticals
130 52 Satin and Polished Ebony 81,999 76,998
130 52 Satin and Polished White, other colors 96,999 90,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 103,999 96,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 108,999 102,998
130 52 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 109,999 102,998
Bosendorfer Grands
170VC 5 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 137,999 130,998
170VC 5 7 Satin and Polished White, other colors 153,999 144,998
170VC 5 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 166,999 156,998
170VC 5 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Bubinga, Pyramid Mahogany, Santos Rosewood, Burl Walnut, Birdseye Maple, Macassar, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 177,999 166,998
170VC 5 7 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 165,999 156,998
170VC 5 7 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 191,999 180,998
170VC 5 7 Liszt: Polished Vavona 197,999 186,998
170VC 5 7 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 222,999 210,998
170VC 5 7 Baroque: Light Satin Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 250,999 234,998
170VC 5 7 Artisan Satin and Polished 319,999 300,998
185VC CS 6 1 Conservatory Satin Ebony 129,999 122,998
185VC 6 1 Satin and Polished Ebony 144,999 136,998
185VC 6 1 Satin and Polished White, other colors 160,999 150,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 170,999 160,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 182,999 172,998
185VC 6 1 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 183,999 172,998
185VC 6 1 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 172,999 162,998
185VC 6 1 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 200,999 188,998
185VC 6 1 Liszt: Polished Vavona 204,999 192,998
185VC 6 1 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 227,999 214,998
185VC 6 1 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 233,999 218,998
185VC 6 1 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 254,999 238,998
185VC 6 1 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 268,999 252,998
185VC 6 1 Artisan Satin and Polished 330,999 310,998
200CS 6 7 Conservatory Satin Ebony 135,999 128,998
200 6 7 Satin and Polished Ebony 155,999 146,998
200 6 7 Satin and Polished White, other colors 174,999 164,998
200 6 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 185,999 174,998
200 6 7 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Birdseye Maple, Macassar, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 200,999 188,998
200 6 7 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 183,999 172,998
200 6 7 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 216,999 204,998
200 6 7 Dragonfly: Maple and Polished Ebony 221,999 208,998
200 6 7 Liszt: Polished Vavona 221,999 208,998
200 6 7 Klimt "Woman in Gold" 189,999 178,998
200 6 7 Cocteau: Polished White 219,999 206,998
200 6 7 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 251,999 236,998
200 6 7 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 254,999 238,998
200 6 7 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 279,999 262,998
200 6 7 Artisan Satin and Polished 349,999 328,998
214VC CS 7 0 Conservatory Satin Ebony 147,999 140,998
214VC 7 0 Satin and Polished Ebony 165,999 156,998
214VC 7 0 Satin and Polished White, other colors 190,999 178,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 202,999 190,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 220,999 206,998
214VC 7 0 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 219,999 206,998
214VC 7 0 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 198,999 186,998
214VC 7 0 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 238,999 224,998
214VC 7 0 Liszt: Polished Vavona 244,999 230,998
214VC 7 0 Klimt "Woman in Gold" 200,999 190,998
214VC 7 0 Cocteau: Polished White 236,999 222,998
214VC 7 0 Edge: Satin and Polished Ebony 269,999 256,998
214VC 7 0 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 277,999 260,998
214VC 7 0 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 305,999 286,998
214VC 7 0 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 321,999 302,998
214VC 7 0 Audi Design Polished Ebony 389,999 368,998
214VC 7 0 Artisan Satin and Polished 389,999 368,998
214VC 7 0 Beethoven 250th Chrome Polished Ebony 218,999 206,998
214VC 7 0 Beethoven 250th Chrome Polished White 236,999 222,998
214VC 7 0 Camellia Polished Ebony & Maple w/Marquetry 245,999 230,998
214VC 7 0 Secession Polished Ebony w/Gold Leaf 259,999 244,998
225 7 4 Satin and Polished Ebony 191,999 180,998
225 7 4 Satin and Polished White, other colors 212,999 200,998
225 7 4 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 227,999 214,998
225 7 4 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Birdseye Maple, Macassar, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 247,999 232,998
225 7 4 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 219,999 206,998
225 7 4 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 268,999 252,998
225 7 4 Liszt: Polished Vavona 275,999 258,998
225 7 4 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 313,999 294,998
225 7 4 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 343,999 322,998
225 7 4 Artisan Satin and Polished 428,999 402,998
230VC 7 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 200,999 188,998
230VC 7 6 Satin and Polished White, other colors 219,999 206,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 236,999 222,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 255,999 240,998
230VC 7 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 281,999 264,998
280VC 9 2 Satin and Polished Ebony 247,999 232,998
280VC 9 2 Satin and Polished White, other colors 274,999 258,998
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 296,999 278,998
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Birdseye Maple, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 319,999 300,998
280VC 9 2 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Macassar 321,999 300,998
280VC 9 2 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 290,999 272,998
280VC 9 2 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 347,999 326,998
280VC 9 2 Liszt: Polished Vavona 355,999 334,998
280VC 9 2 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 407,999 382,998
280VC 9 2 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 442,999 418,998
280VC 9 2 Porsche Design: Diamond Black Metallic Gloss 469,999 442,998
280VC 9 2 Artisan Satin and Polished 507,999 476,998
290 9 6 Satin and Polished Ebony 282,999 264,998
290 9 6 Satin and Polished White, other colors 310,999 292,998
290 9 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pomele 336,999 316,998
290 9 6 Polished, Satin, Open-pore: Pyramid Mahogany, Burl Walnut, Birdseye Maple, Macassar, Madronna, Vavona, Wenge 364,999 342,998
290 9 6 Johann Strauss: Satin and Polished Ebony w/Maple 324,999 304,998
290 9 6 Johann Strauss: Any finish and veneer 397,999 372,998
290 9 6 Liszt: Polished Vavona 405,999 380,998
290 9 6 Chopin, Louis XVI: Satin Pommele 461,999 434,998
290 9 6 Baroque: Satin Light Ivory; Vienna: Polished Amboyna 507,999 476,998
290 9 6 Artisan Satin and Polished 575,999 542,998

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