Julius Bluthner is known as one of Germany’s finest piano manufacturers. Bluthner was born in 1824 in Falkenhain (now Meuselwitz), Thuringia. In 1853, at a tender age of only 29 years old, Bluthner founded his piano manufacturing company in Leipzig. Bluthner’s firm quickly gained prominence at exhibitions and his pianos were soon being used in European conservatories and concert halls. By the end of the 19thCentury, his instruments were considered some of the finest in Europe. Famous pianists including Franz Liszt praised Bluthnerls instruments for their excellent tone and durability.
In 1873, Julius Bluthner introduced his patented “aliquot stringing system” which uses an additional un-dampened string in each note of the top three piano octaves. This fourth strings is not directly struck by the piano hammer, but rather vibrates sympathetically (much like when a conventional piano’s damper pedal is engaged).
Julius Bluthner died in 1910, and his sons Robert, Max and Bruno took control of the firm. The Bluthner family continued to operate the firm until the factory was destroyed in World War II. Although Bluthner brand pianos continued to be built throughout the 20thCentury, it was not until 1990 that the Bluthner family again gained control of operations. Bluthner pianos are still being produced today.
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