A Legend Is Born...
Follow the history of a successful company that, at the same time, is also a family history.
In the middle of the 19th century the city of Leipzig was one of the cultural centers at the heart of Europe equal to Paris, London or Vienna. The enlightened and affluent middle-class of Leipzig was very ambitious, self-confident and open minded, and the city itself was already well known for its international trade and its university.
Changing circumstances meant that scientific and cultural education was no longer reserved for the aristocracy. During this period, the people of Leipzig prospered. The advancements during this time can be seen in the history of the University of Leipzig, in the prominence of the St. Thomas choir, the Gewandhaus orchestra, the Opera and the Academy of Music (founded in 1843 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy).
The Blüthner family was richly influenced by the musical traditions of the city and was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit present in Leipzig. All of these were convincing reasons for Julius Blüthner to open his piano factory without knowing that he was about to establish such a highly successful enterprise.
1853 - Opening the Business
With excellent credentials and a budget of "1660 talers, 2 new groschen, 1 penny and 1 farthing", on the 18th of November in 1853, Julius Blüthner started his pianoforte factory.
"I will build new fortepianos and grand pianos of German and English design...and then sell them", this was the simple and consistent business plan of the young entrepreneur.
With the help of three journeymen and the motto "God will lead me!", the production started in a rented workshop in the western part of Leipzig. The young Blüthner caught just enough sleep to ensure his project was successful.
When his men arrived at 6 am he had already been busy for two hours to complete jigs and patterns and often stayed at work until 10 pm. Ten instruments were made in the first year; eight grands and two square pianos.
In his later years he remembered well his first sale. Professor Weber a respected member of the Leipzig University was looking for a fine instrument and wanted to have it delivered over Easter to his home to compare it with another one. When he finally chose the Blüthner, Julius was relieved and went proudly to his first customer`s home to collect the payment.
Soon the instruments captured the attention of experts, top pianists and musical authorities. Around the world interested people were speaking about the unbelievable instruments built by Julius Blüthner in the city of Leipzig. Well known artists like Brahms, Jadason, Liszt, Mahler, Moscheles, Nikisch, Rachmaninov, Schumann and Tschaikovsky were welcome guests in the Blüthner home. During their musical tours the artists reported about these most marvelous instruments.
His instruments were quickly recognized for their outstanding technical and musical qualities and were established in concert halls all over the world.