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Click here to view a film clip of the
Bohemia GRAND Piano Factory


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Bohemia VERTICAL/UPRIGHT Piano Factory


Click here to view a film clip of the
Bohemia GRAND piano line




Click here to view a film clip of the
Bohemia VERTICAL/UPRIGHT piano line

CORDOGAN'S SUMMARY OF BOHEMIA PIANOS:

These days it seems like every piano manufacturer boasts "Since (insert ancient year here)." Unlike most brands you'll see today claiming to have been around "Since 18xx", the actual edifice where Bohemia has been hand making pianos for over 100 years remained all the way until 2006, when it was finally merged with Bohemia's new grand piano factory (also in the Czech Republic).  They haven't moved to production to China or brought in components from China like most brands.

The Bohemia piano, along with Estonia pianos, has threatened the status quo of more well known piano manufacturers by offering unique, high quality pianos that possess character, style and musical qualities all at prices similar to lesser-rated, mass produced pianos. Such qualities have been desperately sought by buyers in North America -- especially those interested in resale value, those who appreciate handcrafted European products and/or those who are looking for, well, something a little better.

bohemia grandThe Bohemia piano factory began making pianos in 1871. After WWII, commerce in Czechoslovakia became nationalized, much like that of the rest of socialist eastern Europe. The Czechoslovakian government at that time used the name Petrof for all the Czechoslovakian piano factories (seven-ish in all) since Petrof was the
largest and most recognizable piano name at that time. In fact, the serial numbers of all Czech Republic pianos employ Petrof's serial numbering.

In 1989 however, the new government began gradually giving back companies to former owners or creating management buyouts in the interest of privatization. In other cases, companies were simply sold to outside investors. Much like the story of the Estonia Piano Company, in the case of what was about to become the Bohemia Piano Company, there was a management buyout where the employees became the owners.

Bohemia piano companyFor those who aren't geography or history buffs, Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic in 1993 when Slovakia became separate from Czechoslovakia. The capital of the new "Czech Republic" was now Prague. Bohemia represents the northern region of the Czech Republic, while Moravia is the lower region.

In 1993, Bohemia began producing pianos for distribution in Europe but didn't begin exporting them to the United States until 1995, and even then it was in very small numbers. At that time and for a few years that followed, everything was rapidly evolving in this part of the world to the point where each piano had a tendency to be just a liiiit-tle bit better than the one before it. Eventually, all that settled down into what is now considered to be a wonderful, world-class piano line.

The original piano factory in Jihlava continued to handcraft the entire Bohemia vertical piano line -- ~700 pianos annually, until 2006 when it was merged with Bohemia's modernized grand piano factory in Hradec Kralove.  The new grand piano factory, built from the ground up in 2000 is responsible for Bohemia's annual grand piano production of 180 pianos. That's right...only 180. By comparison, Kawai can build that in a shift. Either Bohemia pianos are extremely handmade or the company is preparing themselves to be featured on an upcoming A&E episode of "Great Automation Blunders."

In 2005, Bohemia was the lucky recipient of what would be the manufacturing equivalent of a patron saint.  It was purchased by the mighty Bechstein company of Germany.  Bechstein recognized the value of sharing facilities, technologies, etc and Bohemia was once again brought to new heights.

With today's total Bohemia production of less than 2000 pianos and considering that Bohemia distributes throughout Europe and Asia, there aren't a lot of Bohemia pianos available to audition in the U.S.  But don't let the paltry production fool you. It's all by design. 2000 is the annual CAPACITY -- not representative of the present demand in the event that more could be produced. To that end, you won't be seeing any "Hurry now...50%-70% Bohemia pianos" sale ads any time soon. We'll leave that for the manufacturers sitting on warehouses full of pianos.  You'll need to decide, "What's the better value...getting 50% off of a meritless MSRP or getting a smaller discount off of a better piano?" If you need help with this, please ask a piano technician or teacher!

Bohemia piano company If you are familiar with Larry Fine's Piano Book, you may notice that his most recent FULL edition (published in 2001) doesn't have the Bohemia piano listed in the rankings. That is because in 2001, there were basically no Bohemia pianos in the U.S. for him to review.  In subsequent years, Mr. Fine consistently ranks Bohemia a "Group 2" (or "high performance") piano. This category is dominated by small, cherished European brands that are relatively unknown to the average U.S. buyer. This elevated status also places it above the standard "Group 3" Yamaha, Kawai, Boston pianos and all Korean pianos (Young Chang, Pramberger, Samick).

Most Bohemia models are available with a German Renner action, although many clients seem to actually prefer the Czech action in some models and forego the additional expense of a Renner action. The model 156 (5'3") and the 185 (6'1") were the first models to be made at the new factory and are highly regarded models. The other models -- the 173 (5'8"), the 225 (7'4") and the 275 (8'11") have all since been added to the same critical acclaim. The entire piano line is incredibly lyrical and musical -- qualities that have eluded lower-rated pianos and mass-produced pianos.

bohemia fr. provincial upright Bohemia's vertical piano line ranges from small studios to 53" professional uprights and employs identical quality / musicality across the entire product line. Extraordinary veneers and tasteful accents separate Bohemia from the rest of the piano industry -- where dull or questionable designs have been a tragic and pervasive trend. For much information and availability, please call Rick @ 630-584-5000. All Bohemia pianos have a 5 year parts & labor factory warranty.  The same length of warranty that Steinway and other world class brands offer. Read more about warranties here.

 

 

 


 




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