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So where are the big grands coming from?

Posted By: iLaw

So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 04:37 PM

Those of you who have known me for a while know that when I'm not playing piano I'm an attorney practicing customs law and international trade regulation. Today I had to update my account that gets me access to import trade data from the government, and I needed to make sure it was working, so as my donation to the forum (as I have done in the past) I will answer the question on everyone's mind:

How many pianos longer than 195.58 cm (6' 5") have been imported into the U.S. so far this year, and what countries did they come from? Here you go ...

Japan 15
Austria 11
China 10
Italy 9
Estonia 5
Germany 5
Poland 4
Indonesia 2

Sorting by value would, of course, shuffle these rankings. Only four months of data, so the results depend heavily on who shipped what when. I should have gone back and done a 2018 complete year, but that'll have to wait for another time. Gotta get back to work.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Larry.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 04:53 PM

That seems unbelievable small to me. Between Yamaha and Kawai only 15 grands larger than 6'5" were imported to the U.S. so far? If that rate continued that's only about 240 pianos that size per year. I would have guessed that Yamaha alone would have imported 500-1000 per year, not that I have anything to base that number on.

Can any dealers verify that these figures seem reasonable?
Posted By: JohnSprung

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
That seems unbelievable small to me. Between Yamaha and Kawai only 15 grands larger than 6'5" were imported to the U.S. so far?


+1. It makes me wonder if there's any seasonality involved. Do concert venues have an off-season in the summer when they do their capex? Do residential buyers wait for good weather? So, another question for the dealers: Is your business at all seasonal? If so, when are the busy and slow times of year?
Posted By: BruceD

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 05:17 PM

Do these (seemingly low) statistics include dealer imports, or do these figures indicate private, individual imports only?

Regards,
Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 05:19 PM

OK, I had to know, and pianoloverus does too. So here are the numbers reported for all of 2018. Note that a few of the listings remind us that sometimes people do not correctly report the country of origin:

Japan 188
Italy 86
Germany 72
Poland 62
China 47
Austria 30
Czech Rep 12
Estonia 12
Indonesia 9
Spain 9
Gabon 6
UK 3
Hong Kong 1
Total 537
Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 05:21 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Do these (seemingly low) statistics include dealer imports, or do these figures indicate private, individual imports only?

All imports.

Larry.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 05:59 PM

Originally Posted by iLaw
OK, I had to know, and pianoloverus does too. So here are the numbers reported for all of 2018. Note that a few of the listings remind us that sometimes people do not correctly report the country of origin:

Japan 188
Italy 86
Germany 72
Poland 62
China 47
Austria 30
Czech Rep 12
Estonia 12
Indonesia 9
Spain 9
Gabon 6
UK 3
Hong Kong 1
Total 537

Thanks, is it too much trouble to get the figures for all size grands for 2018?
Posted By: QuasiUnaFantasia

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 06:48 PM

Poland? UK?

This must include restored pianos, right?
Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 07:10 PM

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Poland? UK?

This must include restored pianos, right?

That's my assumption as well. There's actually a separate subcategory for used grands, but I can see how there could be a difference of opinion as to whether a rebuilt piano should be categorized as a new or a used piano. I don't have a piano manufacturer, rebuilder, or importer as a client, so I've never had to look further into the question.

Larry.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 07:25 PM

Some thoughts:

1. I think vast majority of grands sold in the US are less than 6.5". A dealer near me received many Samick and Weber pianos (from Korea), but none of them would appear on this list.

2. Who knew Fazioli's were so popular in the US?

3. Poland? Maybe these are the rumored "Polish restored Steinways" mentioned here at PW.

Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 07:29 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Thanks, is it too much trouble to get the figures for all size grands for 2018?

One number per country isn't too much trouble:

Japan 3,159
Indonesia 3,044
China 2,323
Germany 442
Italy 211
Estonia 80
Poland 62
Austria 47
Czech Rep 30
Hong Kong 15
UK 11
Spain 9
Gabon 6
France 4
Luxembourg 2
Mexico 1
Total 9,446

The statistics are actually kept by size category:

less than 152.40 (5' 0")
152.40 or more but less than 167.64 (5' 6")
167.64 or more but less than 180.34 (5' 11")
180.34 or more but less than 195.58 (6' 5")
195.58 or more

But that's enough for today!

Larry.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 07:42 PM

Who knew Indonesian pianos were so popular. Listening to some members here, Indonesian pianos are no better than the worst Chinese. Guess not!

And clearly Boesendorfer sells more large pianos than small ones. Wonder why smile
Posted By: patH

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
Some thoughts:

1. I think vast majority of grands sold in the US are less than 6.5". A dealer near me received many Samick and Weber pianos (from Korea), but none of them would appear on this list.
No Korean pianos on the numbers provided by iLaw either. Weird.

Originally Posted by redfish1901
2. Who knew Fazioli's were so popular in the US?
Schulze Pollmann is Italian too.

Originally Posted by redfish1901
3. Poland? Maybe these are the rumored "Polish restored Steinways" mentioned here at PW.
Or Irmlers. Irmler is to Blüthner what Hoffmann is to Bechstein: A cheaper brand made in eastern central Europe. Irmlers are made in Poland AFAIK.
Posted By: BerndAB

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 08:07 PM

How are Hamburg Steinways treatened in that statistic?

1- Import, because coming from Germany?

2- US, because coming from an US comp?
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 08:33 PM

Originally Posted by BerndAB
How are Hamburg Steinways treatened in that statistic?

1- Import, because coming from Germany?

2- US, because coming from an US comp?


I would imagine it would be a German import.

AFAIK, there are very few Hamburg Steinways in the US.
Posted By: Chrispy

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 08:36 PM

What would be a rough estimate for the average price of a 6'5"+ piano? I'd guess somewhere in the $50,000-$100,000 range. Depending on where it lands that's somewhere between 1/2 billion and a billion dollars of piano. Not too shabby.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 08:39 PM

Originally Posted by patH
Schulze Pollmann is Italian too.

Or Irmlers. Irmler is to Blüthner what Hoffmann is to Bechstein: A cheaper brand made in eastern central Europe. Irmlers are made in Poland AFAIK.


I think Schulze Pollman and Irmler are pretty rare in the states, at least where I am. During my shopping, I must have seen more than a hundred pianos, and zero Schulz Pollman and Irmler. Plenty of Checkerings, though smile
Posted By: astrotoy

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/11/19 09:20 PM

Is Boesendorfer the only Austrian piano company (that makes grands)? When we bought ours in 1985, they made several times as many grands as uprights. Also according to their website, they make 5 models larger than 6' 5" and only three models smaller, including the very new 155. Again according to their website they make fewer than 300 instruments a year.
Posted By: GC13

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 02:37 AM

Originally Posted by Chrispy
What would be a rough estimate for the average price of a 6'5"+ piano? I'd guess somewhere in the $50,000-$100,000 range. Depending on where it lands that's somewhere between 1/2 billion and a billion dollars of piano. Not too shabby.


The import value would be the invoice price to the dealer, not the sticker price to the end consumer.
Posted By: QuasiUnaFantasia

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 10:21 AM

Originally Posted by astrotoy
Is Boesendorfer the only Austrian piano company (that makes grands)?


Both Feurich and Brodmann are Austrian companies, and both make grand pianos. But I believe Feurich only makes one upright model in Austria, and their grand pianos are made in China, and Brodmann make pianos in China and Germany, but not in Austria.
Posted By: j&j

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 01:55 PM

Just my opinion here but I think American piano buyers are a distinct interesting breed. As told to me by my piano tech, a private nonprofessional pianist bought a Yamaha CFX a few years ago. Buying the concert grand included a trip to the Yamaha facility to see his CFX finished and to get his input for the final factory prep for voicing and regulation. For me that would be a dream! The Yamaha folks were stunned that the concert grand was bought by an amateur pianist, not a touring professional. Why on earth would an amateur need a concert grand in his living room? My immediate answer is, why not? But then thinking to myself only, if I had the money for a concert grand like a CFX or a Bosie Imperial, wouldn’t it be better to donate it to my local orchestra or university performance theater than keep it in my living room for a rank amateur (emphasis on rank 😃) to play? Of course I would require daily access to the piano on a regular schedule.
Back to the statistics from iLaw. 6’5” inches is hardly a concert grand but I think it shows just how spoiled we are here with big houses and big pianos! Again just my opinion.
Posted By: astrotoy

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by astrotoy
Is Boesendorfer the only Austrian piano company (that makes grands)?


Both Feurich and Brodmann are Austrian companies, and both make grand pianos. But I believe Feurich only makes one upright model in Austria, and their grand pianos are made in China, and Brodmann make pianos in China and Germany, but not in Austria.


So it looks like all of the Austrian pianos in the report are from Boesendorfer.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 04:53 PM

J[b][/b]
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Poland? UK?

This must include restored pianos, right?

The Wilhelm Schimmel grands are made in Kalisz, Poland.
The Phoenix grands are partly assembled and designed in England.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 05:06 PM

Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by astrotoy
Is Boesendorfer the only Austrian piano company (that makes grands)?


Both Feurich and Brodmann are Austrian companies, and both make grand pianos. But I believe Feurich only makes one upright model in Austria, and their grand pianos are made in China, and Brodmann make pianos in China and Germany, but not in Austria.


Feurich Vienna 123, which is an upright, is made in Austria.
Posted By: agraffe

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 06:48 PM

What's coming out of Gabon and Luxembourg?
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 09:36 PM

Originally Posted by agraffe
What's coming out of Gabon and Luxembourg?


Don't they make thumb pianos in Gabon? A grand version would be cool.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/12/19 10:02 PM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by patH
Schulze Pollmann is Italian too.

Or Irmlers. Irmler is to Blüthner what Hoffmann is to Bechstein: A cheaper brand made in eastern central Europe. Irmlers are made in Poland AFAIK.


I think Schulze Pollman and Irmler are pretty rare in the states, at least where I am. During my shopping, I must have seen more than a hundred pianos, and zero Schulz Pollman and Irmler. Plenty of Checkerings, though smile

Irmler uprights are I think made in China.Are they then sent to Germany for a final check ?
Shultz and Polman Studio uprights are strung back in China then finished off in Italy.I think there is a Masterpiece series in grands
that are available on order.These are really made in Italy.
Shultz and Pollman Studio upright pianos are availability downtown
Vancouver.Irmler uprights are also available here.
Perhaps the grands are too?
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 12:50 AM

Originally Posted by iLaw
Those of you who have known me for a while know that when I'm not playing piano I'm an attorney practicing customs law and international trade regulation. Today I had to update my account that gets me access to import trade data from the government, and I needed to make sure it was working, so as my donation to the forum (as I have done in the past) I will answer the question on everyone's mind:

How many pianos longer than 195.58 cm (6' 5") have been imported into the U.S. so far this year, and what countries did they come from? Here you go ...

Japan 15
Austria 11
China 10
Italy 9
Estonia 5
Germany 5
Poland 4
Indonesia 2

Sorting by value would, of course, shuffle these rankings. Only four months of data, so the results depend heavily on who shipped what when. I should have gone back and done a 2018 complete year, but that'll have to wait for another time. Gotta get back to work.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Larry.

Not sure if it's still correct - but last I heard, GROTRIAN Cast Iron Plates are made by OS Kelly Foundry in USA - does that partly mess with your figures?
Posted By: willpianist

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 04:44 AM

Hong Kong 15
Spain 9
Gabon 6
France 4
Luxembourg 2
Mexico 1

What pianos could they be?
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 05:10 AM

Originally Posted by willpianist
Hong Kong 15
Spain 9
Gabon 6
France 4
Luxembourg 2
Mexico 1

What pianos could they be?

Hong Kong - I'd noticed against GROTRIAN's profile page in the PianoBuyer:
"Pianos made by[/b]: Grotrian Piano Company GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany; and Parsons Music, Hong Kong" - but I have no idea which pianos are made there.
Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 05:35 PM

Originally Posted by backto_study_piano

Not sure if it's still correct - but last I heard, GROTRIAN Cast Iron Plates are made by OS Kelly Foundry in USA - does that partly mess with your figures?

No, a U.S.-origin plate alone wouldn't change the country of origin of the finished piano.

Now if all of the components came from Country A, but were then shipped to Country B for final assembly .... you'd have the kind of question that pays for my groceries!

Larry.
Posted By: Geusey

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 08:48 PM

Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Originally Posted by willpianist
Hong Kong 15
Spain 9
Gabon 6
France 4
Luxembourg 2
Mexico 1

What pianos could they be?

Hong Kong - I'd noticed against GROTRIAN's profile page in the PianoBuyer:
"Pianos made by[/b]: Grotrian Piano Company GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany; and Parsons Music, Hong Kong" - but I have no idea which pianos are made there.


Wilhelm Grotrian is built by Parsons. So are Baldwin grands and Brodmann.
Posted By: willpianist

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/13/19 11:22 PM

I see. I was pretty sure all Parsons pianos are made in China, so found it strange initiallyto see pianos coming from Hong Kong as there is not piano manufacturing in Hong Kong. It make senses now as the list goes by where the company is registered.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/14/19 12:46 AM

Back_Study_Piano
Your Grotrian is obviously made in Germany.Wilhelm Grotrian do not
make grand pianos 7'4" or any size concert grand.They only make grands smaller than 7ft. See Piano Buyer
Posted By: jazzyprof

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/14/19 12:54 AM

The 6 pianos from Gabon...that's certainly a head scratcher! Maybe it's the source of the ebony used for the black keys.
Posted By: iLaw

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/14/19 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by willpianist
I see. I was pretty sure all Parsons pianos are made in China, so found it strange initiallyto see pianos coming from Hong Kong as there is not piano manufacturing in Hong Kong. It make senses now as the list goes by where the company is registered.

That's not actually true. The "nationality" of the manufacturer is irrelevant to the country of origin of the piano. If there are no grands actually being manufactured in Hong Kong (other people here know more about that than I do), then the 15 grands listed as coming from Hong Kong (rather than the actual place of manufacture) is intentionally or unintentionally incorrect (either is both possible and common).

Larry.
Posted By: Norbert

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/14/19 06:50 PM

Quote
That's not actually true. The "nationality" of the manufacturer is irrelevant to the country of origin of the piano. If there are no grands actually being manufactured in Hong Kong


That's an important point to understand. During last decade we had a huge immigration from Hong Kong to Vancouver, B.C. and a certain amount of these immigrants brought their [mostly German..] grand pianos along. No question that this would skew statistics.

Norbert
Posted By: Norbert

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/14/19 07:04 PM

While stats can be interesting, even more interesting IMHO is "who" among famous pianists owns what at home. Over the years I have learned that what is always "assumed" is not always true. Alfred Brendel in Germany for example being one example. Plus which pianist saw fit to import a piano [usually from Europe] for him/herself whilst being surrounded by a large number of other popular options in same city or area. Here's another example, hoping the fantastic musical value of of this will be enjoyed by all.
Part of the video is made in Daniil Trifonov's apartment in New York. smile
https://www.dw.com/en/a-new-chopin-1/av-42230549
Posted By: phacke

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 03:53 AM

Norbert, Interesting news website, thanks! (DW.com). Anyhow, I couldn't easily say the kind of piano in the guys apartment, but I could see the S&S in the hall.

Posted By: astrotoy

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 04:49 AM

Originally Posted by Norbert
While stats can be interesting, even more interesting IMHO is "who" among famous pianists owns what at home. Over the years I have learned that what is always "assumed" is not always true. Alfred Brendel in Germany for example being one example. Plus which pianist saw fit to import a piano [usually from Europe] for him/herself whilst being surrounded by a large number of other popular options in same city or area. Here's another example, hoping the fantastic musical value of of this will be enjoyed by all.
Part of the video is made in Daniil Trifonov's apartment in New York. smile
https://www.dw.com/en/a-new-chopin-1/av-42230549


Please don't leave us hanging. What piano does Alfred Brendel have in Germany? Does he have the same piano in London also where I thought he was living?.

I also watched the Trifonov video (not completely) but didn't see any statement about what piano he owned in his apartment in NYC. What is it? It looked like a Hamburg Steinway in his concert in Dortmund, and maybe a similar piano in his home in NYC?

Thanks.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 07:52 AM

Originally Posted by willpianist
Hong Kong 15
Spain 9
Gabon 6
France 4
Luxembourg 2
Mexico 1

What pianos could they be?


Well in France, you have the Stephen Paulello, making grand pianos.
The rest could be people moving country, and the country of origin then being set as the country one is moving from.
As an example, Gabon has both French, and more recently Chinese links. So there will be (grand) pianos there for sure.

Posted By: PhilipInChina

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 08:24 AM

There was a thread a while ago about some people claiming to be making pianos in Africa. I don't remember the actual nation.

Perhaps those of us who suspected a scam were wrong, although I doubt it.
Posted By: barbaram

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 08:41 AM

Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
There was a thread a while ago about some people claiming to be making pianos in Africa. I don't remember the actual nation.

Perhaps those of us who suspected a scam were wrong, although I doubt it.


That was in Rwanda. Personally I think that project is a group of well-intentioned dreamers,rather than a scam. As in I think they are trying to do what they claim, though whether they will succeed or not is another question. They blog pretty extensively on it http://kigalikeys.blogspot.com/
Posted By: oldMH

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/15/19 02:00 PM

If it is imports according to US Customs, then the list certainly includes many private used pianos. Private companies and governments move employees worldwide and move their pianos with them, typically in the container with their household goods. So, any moving into the US with their piano will appear on the list. If their previous work posting was Gabon and the new one is the US, it will show a transfer. If an employee discovers a trove of cheap pianos in Gabon and decides to purchase them and convinces their employer to ship them to the US with their stuff, it could also show on the list.
Posted By: Ken Iisaka

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/16/19 10:55 PM

Originally Posted by patH

Originally Posted by redfish1901
2. Who knew Fazioli's were so popular in the US?
Schulze Pollmann is Italian too.


And Borgato smile
Posted By: Ken Iisaka

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/16/19 11:30 PM

Originally Posted by astrotoy

I also watched the Trifonov video (not completely) but didn't see any statement about what piano he owned in his apartment in NYC. What is it? It looked like a Hamburg Steinway in his concert in Dortmund, and maybe a similar piano in his home in NYC?


Trifonov has a Fazioli at home.

https://www.facebook.com/nytimes/vi...-of-the-greatest-pian/10151372669444999/
Posted By: phacke

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/19/19 05:46 AM

Originally Posted by Ken Iisaka
Originally Posted by astrotoy

I also watched the Trifonov video (not completely) but didn't see any statement about what piano he owned in his apartment in NYC. What is it? It looked like a Hamburg Steinway in his concert in Dortmund, and maybe a similar piano in his home in NYC?


Trifonov has a Fazioli at home.

https://www.facebook.com/nytimes/vi...-of-the-greatest-pian/10151372669444999/


Oh, OK. Thanks. I don't enjoy the Fazioli, relatively overtone-free sound.

Regards-
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/20/19 03:59 PM

Keep in mind that Yamaha, Kawai and Samick have major factories in Indonesia. Most of their entry-level instruments are mage there.

I've been to Samick's factory in Indonesia and it was quite impressive. IMHO generally the workmanship and attention to detail is better in Indonesia than in China.
Posted By: phacke

Re: So where are the big grands coming from? - 04/21/19 09:32 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen


I've been to Samick's factory in Indonesia and it was quite impressive. IMHO generally the workmanship and attention to detail is better in Indonesia than in China.


Interesting. It seems Indonesia and Malaysia have long history in furniture making. However, the choice of materials in my experience does not lend itself to long term value in quality ( in the furniture domain).
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