Ludwig Bösendorfer

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Ludwig Bösendorfer (1864)

Ludwig Bösendorfer (born April 10, 1835 in Vienna ; † May 9, 1919 there ) was an Austrian piano maker .


The son of the piano maker Ignaz Bösendorfer joined his father's business after training at the Vienna Polytechnic Institute (1850–1852) . After his father's death in 1859, he took over the management of the new factory in front of the Schottentor, which had just been put into operation . In the same year, Bösendorfer introduced a change to the “Viennese piano mechanics”, with which a higher initial speed at the hammer head was achieved. The war in Italy was a severe blow to the company as it destroyed an important market.

Bösendorfer concert grand at the world exhibition in London in 1862

In 1866 Ludwig Bösendorfer was awarded the title of purveyor to the court. He tried to get the emperor's title of chamber supplier, just like his father, but this turned out to be difficult because a long-term business relationship was a prerequisite. When the kk Hof opera theater was built , the piano makers Friedrich Ehrbar , Streicher and Bösendorfer were invited to produce two grand pianos, which were not allowed to exceed the price of 480 guilders each. For this achievement Ehrbar and Bösendorfer were awarded the title of chamber supplier in 1869, Streicher was already chamber supplier.

In the same year the concert halls of the Wiener Musikverein were completed. Bösendorfer donated fourteen of his grand pianos to the company. For this he was made an honorary member and later appointed to the management. The street in front of the music club building is now called Bösendorferstraße .

Bösendorfer piano from the possession of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, exhibited at the 1888 anniversary trade exhibition in Vienna

Bösendorfer showed its products with great success at several world exhibitions . Since then he has been considered the best piano manufacturer in Austria. He not only supplied the Austrian court in Vienna and the residence in Bad Ischl, but also the Russian tsar and the Japanese Meiji imperial court . In 1871 he moved into a larger production facility and relocated the sale to the then Palais Liechtenstein on Herrengasse , whose riding school he converted into the Bösendorfer Hall, which was inaugurated in 1872 with a concert by Hans von Bülow . The Bösendorfer Hall was known for its excellent acoustics; numerous well-known artists played here on Bösendorfer grand pianos.

Although he was married twice, Ludwig Bösendorfer had no offspring. In 1909 he sold the company to one of his friends, the banker Karl Hutterstrasser, who was awarded the title of kuk court and chamber supplier in 1910.

The demolition of Palais Liechtenstein and the halls as well as the outbreak of the First World War put a strain on Bösendorfer's health. He died in 1919 shortly after the end of the war. Ludwig Bösendorfer rests in an honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery (17B-1-10).

In the year of his death in 1919, Bösendorferstrasse in Vienna's Innere Stadt (1st district) was named after him.


  • Ludwig Bösendorfer: The Viennese Clavier . In: Presented by the industrialists of Austria under the high protectorate of His K. and K. Highness of the Most Serene Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Hrsg.): Die Groß-Industrie Oesterreichs . Festival ceremony for the glorious fiftieth anniversary of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor Franz Josef I. Volume 3 . Leopold Weiss, Vienna 1898, VI. Instruments, scales and weights, p. 257-266 .


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