Pearl River Piano Group

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The Pearl River Piano Group (广州 珠江 钢琴 集团 有限公司) is the largest manufacturer of pianos in the world. In China , he runs the largest piano factory in the world with his production facility in the Pearl River Delta . The company was founded in Guangzhou , Guangdong , China in 1956 .

Pearl River is also the fastest growing piano trading group in the US and Canada with more than 300 dealers (2007). In January 2016, Pearl River took over 90% of the company shares in Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik based in Braunschweig .

Production, materials

Pearl River manufactures more than 120,000 pianos a year and exports them to more than 80 countries.

Pearl River Piano has operated seven factories in Guangzhou since 1956 , including the world's largest. In November 2009 a new wood production facility was opened.

Manufacturing features

Ritmüller piano by Pearl River Piano

Pearl River pianos have hard wood cases, sand- cast frames and low-tension scales, properties that are also found in the world's best pianos from Steinway , Bösendorfer and almost all other high-class pianos. These properties are considered to be important in order to ensure long-term durability of the sound properties. These sound properties are shaped by the pretensioning and exaggeration of the curvature of the soundboard under the pressure of the string tension. Pianos that do not have these properties are said to have a tendency to have problems with sound retention.

Most Pearl River pianos are considered entry-level pianos. However, some models come with higher quality specifications and materials, such as the Essex Pianos , a brand owned by Steinway & Sons. To improve product development and manufacturing effectiveness, Pearl River automated manufacturing and installed CAD-CAM technology. To improve quality, international consultants were hired and a joint venture valued at USD 10 million was concluded with Yamaha . "We can adopt good management concepts from leading companies in Japan," said Tong Zhi Cheng, Pearl River's CEO.

The company also brings out special pianos, for example the "Butterfly Grand" with a length of 198 centimeters and available in the colors silver, blue and pink. The former Göttingen traditional brand Ritmüller is also used today for pianos by Pearl River. It marks instruments at the upper end of the Pearl River production range, but in the relatively affordable price range.



1998 Pearl River Piano was awarded the ISO 9001 - certification for its complete line of upright and grand pianos, with all its components. The ISO 9001 certification is awarded by an independent auditing organization after a lengthy audit process that includes material supply, parts production, assembly and service. Pearl River was the first piano manufacturer in China to receive this qualification.

Environmental certification

Pearl River was also recently certified to ISO 14001 , a standard that assesses the company's environmental activities. Here, too, Pearl River was the first Chinese piano manufacturing company to achieve this qualification.

The name "Pearl River"

Pearl River was not a household name in the United States until recently; it didn't enter the US until 2000. Since then, Pearl River’s US piano sales have grown rapidly, and today Pearl River has a significant market share in pianos under $ 15,000. Pearl River was the first Chinese piano manufacturer to sell its products under its own name.

Other instruments

Pearl River is also one of the world's largest guitar and violin manufacturers and is a leading supplier of the popular guitar brand "First Act", which can be found in the Target stores chain . The company also sells drums and brass instruments worldwide.

Pearl River produces guitars in China under the trade name "Kapok Guitar" (红棉).

OEM supplier

The three largest piano retail chains in the US selected Pearl River as their manufacturer: Jordan Kitts Music, Sherman Clay and Schmitt Music. These three vendors use their own brand names (Henry F Miller, Christofori) on the front of the pianos and occasionally use small modifications compared to the Pearl River pianos, which are sold from Ontario , Canada.

Connections to Yamaha and Steinway


Yamaha entered into a joint venture with Pearl River in 1995 to build a factory for the Chinese market. This factory is located east of Guangzhou in a development zone, around 50 kilometers from the Pearl River factory.

This factory produces two models for Pearl River: the UP125M1 and the Ritmüller UP126R. Ritmüller is a brand name that is now owned by Pearl River. Ritmüller pianos have an improved case, frame, better felt, and various other specifications of the scale design. Both product lines are marketed through piano retailers in the United States.

After Pearl River learned Yamaha's production processes, Pearl River Piano terminated ownership of Yamaha with the support of the Chinese government. Although Pearl Rivers Marketing claims that the pianos are "Designed by Yamaha," the two companies have no further partnership and Pearl River pianos are no longer affiliated with Yamaha.

Steinway & Sons

Pearl River also makes three models for Steinway's "Essex" range: two grand piano models and one piano model.

On May 1, 2005, Steinway & Sons and Pearl River jointly announced the signing of an agreement. The companies began developing a new line of Essex pianos. Steinway took over the construction for the subsidiary "Boston Pianos", the production is located at Pearl River in China. The new line of pianos came onto the market in spring 2006. This was Steinway's first manufacturing activity in China and Pearl River's first OEM contract manufacturing for a western piano manufacturer.

Essex pianos are made in the Guangzhou factory.

Web links

Commons : Pearl River Pianos  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d River ( Memento of the original from August 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Pearl River Pianos, website in the US, sighted September 29, 2007 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. [Chinagoabroad ], accessed on February 22, 2016