The History of Sauter Pianos

The Sauter piano company was not instantly opened when the founder decided to learn how to build pianos. Instead, the journey of Johann Grimm began long before this company opened.  Johann loved music and he chose to travel to Vienna in 1813 to learn how to build pianos from Johann Andreas Streicher and Streicher’s wife, Nanette Stein. Streicher and Stein were very well-known in the music industry, as Beethoven only purchased instruments from them, and Mozart’s son was a piano student of theirs.

Johann Grimm spent six years learning the intricacies of the piano from them and then returned to Spaichingen to build pianos in 1819. He had a small workshop at first and it was his nephew, Carl Sauter, who expanded that shop into a factory and opened Sauter pianos in 1846. The company quickly became the leading manufacturer of pianos in that country.  Carl’s son took over at the age of seventeen, due to his father’s untimely death at an early age. He traveled to the United States quite frequently, so that he could learn as much as possible to grow the business even more.

There are a large number of inventions and technical features that Sauter has had patented over the years. The Sauter pianos became well-known in Germany due to their higher-quality and consistently improved models.  Future generations continued to take over the company over the years, as it continued to thrive and expand.  A new factory was constructed between 1974 and 1983 and newer features were created as well.

This company currently manufactures approximately five hundred pianos a year, both vertical and grand.  Those pianos are a combination of nine different grand piano models and nineteen vertical models.  One of the verticals is the microtonal piano, which has ninety-seven keys. That means that each key is only one-sixteenth of a tone.  Each piano uses high-quality woods that include Bavarian spruce and beech. Rare woods that include burl walnut, yew, pyramid mahogany, and ebony are used within the cabinets of these pianos and many of them include special engravings that are normally customized for the purchaser.

The major shareholder of the company is no longer a Sauter, but Ulrich Sauter does serve as a managing director. This move will ensure that Sauter stays in front of the competition throughout the world.

photo credit from Sauter Pianos website

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