Who makes the best pianos in the world?
Updated: Sep 12, 2018
By Stewart Kelly
You might be surprised to learn just how many companies are making pianos that could be considered truly great. Instruments built with passion from fine materials and with care and skill. I bet if I asked you to guess how many might be in that top tier you would think no more than a small handful. And that they'd all come from Germany? Am I right?
There is no doubt a large percentage of German makers rank in the top tier of piano production. I can think of ten Austro-German factories I would personally include in the highest ranks and another three or four that are close behind.
But it is a very wrong assumption to think this is the only bastion of top shelf production. Both the major Japanese companies who are best known for producing consistently good and reliable pianos have divisions making hand-built instruments that have dedicated fans.
We also can’t forget the Americans - a nation responsible for so much of the design of what we take for granted as the piano today. In the US the industry is a sad shadow of the days when there were more than 600 piano makers. These days just three factories remain but the instruments are still superb overall.
Returning to Europe, the Italians have made a huge statement in the piano world in the last thirty years with the passion of the small company Fazioli.
And I bet you Australia didn’t come to mind in your calculations of this question did it? But it very much deserves to with the contribution to the global industry from Wayne Stuart’s Stuart and Sons.
In truth all of these countries produce instruments that would rank among the finest. It becomes highly subjective territory as to what one likes and in truth every company has things they do better than others and their own weaknesses too.
This information might make your decision seem overwhelming if you’re setting out to buy a top tier instrument. This is why it’s important to engage a sales consultant who is full of knowledge and will put your desires at the centre of the equation and help find you the instrument that gives you your voice.