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Seiler and Knabe Pianos Arrive at Piano Trends

Piano Trends Music is proud to announce that the oldest Baldwin piano delaership in Chicago is adding two more prestigious piano names to their lineup of new pianos. Beginning Now Piano Trends has added Seiler Pianos and Knabe Pianos to the showroom floor.

Seiler is one of the top high end German Piano Manufacturers and know for their concert quality in every level of piano they make. Knabe is one of the oldest and most respected Amercian Piano makers. Both piano lines complement America's favorite piano, Baldwin which has been part of the Piano Trends family since 1990 when this Crystal Lake Music business first opened their doors. The store also represents their own Breitenbach Piano line as well as Hallet Davis. be sure to visit and learn more about all of the pianos in the Piano Trends Showroom

Knabe’s rich history began more than 200 years ago when Wilhelm (William) Knabe was born in Kreuzburg, Germany in 1803. Knabe learned the art of cabinet and piano making through apprenticeships, dedication and hard work. After immigrating to the United States and settling in Baltimore, Maryland, Knabe began working under Henry Hartye, a well-known piano maker. In 1835, William formed his own business of buying, selling and repairing used pianos from inside his home.

Knabe partnered with Henry Gaehle to form the piano company Knabe & Gaehle, the genesis of Knabe’s storied history. Knabe & Gaehle built high-quality grands, uprights, and squares at a small factory in Baltimore and managed to compete with other larger, more established American manufacturers.

Knabe & Gaehle became a part of American history when in 1838, Francis Scott Key, composer of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” commissioned the company to custom-build a square grand piano for his home. The detail of these lavish, hand-carved pianos extended around all four sides of the rosewood case and down its massive legs, while the keys were surfaced with expensive mother-of-pearl. The piano was used by Key until his death in 1843 and currently resides in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN.

The company was left in the stable hands of sons William and Ernest upon the death of William Knabe in 1864. With the outbreak of the Civil War and the resulting decline of the Southern market, the company managed to keep afloat by expanding their markets into the growing American west. In the later decades of the 19th century, Knabe grew to be one of the most respected pianos and very popular among consumers and professionals alike.

Seiler Piano History

1849 Eduard Seiler starts with the handcrafted production of pianos in Liegnitz. With skills and a spirit of invention, the excellent pianist develops an independent model. The transparent, bright tone of this piano will remain characteristic of all SEILER instruments.1872 A SEILER instrument is presented, for the first time, with a gold medal in Moscow. Many other awards follow, and the size of the factory grows as its fame spreads. SEILER becomes purveyor of the Russian Czar Court. After the death of his father in 1875, Johannes Seiler takes over the company that employs 120 piano builders.1898 The 25,000th SEILER leaves the extended factory. SEILER instruments are acclaimed world-wide, not only among experts.1910 Johannes Seiler is appointed court purveyor to Margherita, Queen Mother of Italy.1923 In the third generation, Anton Seiler is entrusted with the management of the family business. The company is producing 3,000 instruments a year. With 435 employees, SEILER is not only the most famous but also the biggest piano factory in Eastern Germany.1945 Due to World War II, the Seiler family loses its home and its parent factory. Steffen risked his life salvaging all of his scale designs to preserve them for the future. Steffen Seiler starts up the production of pianos along traditional Liegnitz lines in Denmark.1957 Production becomes possible again in Germany, and in 1961 the SEILER Pianoforte Factory moves to its new home in the Bavarian town of Kitzingen.1967 SEILER becomes a founding member of the “Germany Pianos Quality Association.” SEILER offers its customers instruments which are regularly tested by sworn experts, thus ensuring maximum, long-term quality.1974 The 100,000th SEILER leaves the Kitzingen factory 126 years after the company was founded.1983 SEILER applies for patents on its Membrator soundboard for grand pianos. This innovation enables grand pianos to be built more compactly without sacrificing any volume of tone and dynamics of sound.1985, 1986, and 1988 Seiler pianos are rewarded in Paris with gold medals, reinforcing their position among the elite world’s piano manufacturers.1987 SEILER creates a sensation at the International Music Show in Frankfurt with a new grand piano design. The “Showmaster” – a genuine SEILER grand – features an integrated MIDI system that opens up all the possibilities of modern electronics.1994 SEILER celebrates its 145th anniversary. The SEILER Pianoforte Factory extends over a production area of 10,000 square meters. It is characterized as much by high-tech machinery and lean production as it is by craftsmanship and know-how of well trained piano builders. Under the management of Steffen and Ursula Seiler, 150 employees build grand pianos and upright pianos of world standard – from the upright piano of the “Studio Line” to the grand piano of the “Master Class,” from instruments for teachers and students to the exquisite models of the “Special Class;” which, with their excellent woodworking and masterly intarsias, are a delight for connoisseurs.1995 The SEILER development team stars with two sensational inventions: the patented SMR action (Super Magnet Repetition), which enables an upright piano to be played with the same ease of repetition as a grand piano (worldwide patent pending), and “DuoVox”, which with the patented SEILER mute system for acoustic pianos, combined with a an integrated digital piano, has revolutionized the piano market; pianists can listen to themselves playing over headphones, without disturbing anyone in their surroundings.1996 SEILER’s piano builders invent the Tonal Volume Stabilizer, German patent 195 37 261, which ensures the long-term retention of tonal volume through permanent control of the soundboard arching.1997 SEILER unveils yet another remarkable innovation, the German patent 197 16 177.4: the “Elite Trainer” professional practice instrument. An original grand action with digital sound technique for silent practicing and/or access to everything electronic music has to offer.1998 SEILER’s Frenator System (European patent app. 97 12 22 33-6) to secure the keyboard lid on grand pianos.1999 SEILER celebrates its 150th anniversary with the 1st International SEILER Piano Competition, Kitzingen. In memory of Steffen Seiler, the Steffen Seiler Association for the Promotion of Piano Music is founded. This association aims to promote piano playing, on a wide scale, as a cultural, intellectual, and creative expression of life.2001 The 2nd International Piano Competition festival is held with 140 young talents from 30 countries. Qualifying contests were carried out in Italy, the USA, and China. The competition is overseen by an international jury of seven judges from Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Russia and China, most of whom are also on the jury of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Again, the 1st prize in the young group is among the Chinese laureates. Seiler presents the new 208 Professional Grand.2003 The newly developed 186 Maestro model features a radiating back post and front and rear duplex scale. Soundboard and rib statics have been redesigned with the length of the strings optimized to match. The service proven keyboard and action are thus combined in harmonious fashion with new standards of dynamics. To do better justice to today’s greater acoustic and dynamic possibilities, SEILER has further optimized the duplex scale and soundboard on the 208 Professional and the 242 Konzert Grand models. The touch of the 132 Konzert SMR upright has been perfected by precision work on the damper springs. The lowest priced model from German production, the SEILER 116 Primus, will be available in the future in alder and beech as well as in the familiar black polished finish. SEILER’s internationally unique selection of special woods has been further enlarged through the addition of the 186 Maestro and 122 Konsole models in veined laurel.With the design study 186 Opaque, we are adding a further highlight to our range of modified acoustic show instruments. With its consistent product policy, SEILER underlines its status as a top-class international brand with an unsurpassed price/performance ratio. 208 talents from 56 countries apply for participation at the 3rd International SEILER Piano Competition Kitzingen. Again, qualifying contests are carried out in ‘china and 32 students are invited by SEILER to take part in the competition. The 1st prize in the older group is awarded to a young Chinese artist.2004 Due to the 155th Anniversary, SEILER introduces the newly developed 278 Konzert which meets the growing demand for a large, authentically European concert grand and rounds off SEILER’s positioning in the top segment. With this new model, SEILER again underlines its status as a top-class international brand with an unsurpassed price/performance ratio, and reinforces its international reputation as “the brand for young professionals”. To do better justice to today’s greater acoustic and dynamic possibilities, SEILER further improves the grand models, 186 Maestro, 208 Professional, and 242 Konzert, by optimizing the length of strings, modifying the hammer head characteristics, and reconstructing the soundboard. The differentiability of sound on our 132 Konzert SMR upright is perfected by optimizing the string length and modifying the thickness of the soundboard. Our 122 Konsole and 116 Jubilee model series are now available with nickel coated fittings. The 122 Primus, in polished black finish, is offered as a new entry model to the top segment. As co-partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), SEILER performs the 1st International SEILER Piano Competition in Rhodes, the 1st prize winner of which is a Chinese pianist. Further, SEILER covers parts of the official cultural program during the Olympic Games in Athens.2005 On the base of qualifying contests in China and other countries in the world, the 4th International SEILER Piano Competition Kitzingen takes place with an international jury of seven judges from Germany, Poland, Russia, Japan, the US, and China. SEILER continues to strengthen its international reputation as the aspiring “Brand for Young Professionals.” As of 2005, SEILER was the oldest and biggest German pianoforte to be still fully in German ownership and to have remained in the hands of the same family for five generations. Since then, things have changed with SEILER becoming a part of the Samick Music Corporation, but still today SEILER manufactures its lines of exquisite grand and upright pianos on German soil with an unsurpassed level of on-site production capacity. In this spirit, all German made SEILER SE grand and upright pianos are exclusively marked with the “RAL Quality Seal of German Pianos”, awarded by German governmental authorities. This guarantees, among other things, that SEILER SE instruments are not manufactured under license by third parties, but are actually and exclusively made in Germany. Through rigorous implementation of this corporate philosophy, SEILER has become regarded in the world’s markets as “the authentic European alternative” to Asian, Asian influenced and American sound philosophies. The term “Young Professionals” has programmatic value for SEILER. In the years since the company was founded, the sponsoring of culture has always played an important role in the SEILER corporate philosophy – a fact reflected in its efforts to cultivate European sound culture and European music culture. A focal point of the company’s worldwide cultural activities is the support of young professional pianists. The driving force behind this involvement is SEILER’s profound conviction that cultural values have to be actively assimilated by each generation in order to remain alive for future generations. SEILER is helping to promote a values-oriented, and active, life style.2008 Samick Musical Instruments of Korea purchased the ED.SEILER Pianofortefabrik GmbH & Co. KG of Germany. The German manufacturing facility will continue as before, but with the infusion of capital. It will be able to invest heavily in manufacturing equipment to not only continue their marvelous heritage but also improve their overall efficiency and precision for the future. When associated with another German manufacturer, Samick investigated and procured many CNC (computer numeric control) machines for their existing factories and found that their manufacturing processes improved dramatically. Millions of dollars have been invested in this new equipment.2011 A new series of SEILER pianos was introduced to supplement the existing German made products. The new Eduard Seiler series is made in our Indonesian manufacturing facility utilizing the exact scale designs of the German made pianos. The new series was introduced to our dealer organization with marvelous reviews. The four models (two grand pianos and two verticals) are derived from the most popular German made models.The ED126 and ED132 models are very popular models that are available in not only Polished Ebony but also Polished Ebony with Nickel trim, Polished Mahogany, Polished Walnut, and other more exotic finishes (Bubinga, Rosewood, Pommelle, and Dark Walnut). The ED168 and ED186 grand pianos have also been extremely popular and are offered with Nickel trim if desired.2013 With the astounding success of the Eduard Seiler series, another series is introduced. This series is known as Johannes Seiler. This series incorporates many of SEILER’s renowned features and is a welcome addition to the SEILER Family of Fine Pianos. An introduction of this series, along with a reintroduction of the two existing series, was held in Nashville, Tennessee.

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