In selecting a piano, pianists focus on two elements: the sound and the feel. A truly great piano sound can enrich your soul for a lifetime, whereas the professional feel of the keyboard makes the playing most enjoyable. This can be achieved when each piano is individually made into a work of art.
Hear the rich Estonia piano sound, and feel the most sensitive keyboard.
Piano making in Estonia was an art practiced during the late 18th century and has been documented as early as 1779. The craft had flourished, and during the late 19th and the early 20th century there were nearly 20 independent piano companies. The most notable of these manufacturers was Ernst Hiis-Ihse, whose handmade piano from 1893 became the prototype of the Estonia piano. After the WW II, Mr. Hiis was invited to establish a larger facility, known today as the Estonia Piano Factory.
Estonia made pianos received awards for excellence in design and manufacturing at international competitions in Europe. They became prominent on concert stages throughout the East, and over 7 400 Concert Grand instruments have been made. Many great pianists, such as Sviatoslav Richter, Dmitry Shostakovitch, Emil Gilels and Claudio Arrau, among others, performed on these pianos. After Mr. Hiis’ death in 1964, however, the quality of the pianos gradually declined, partly due to the fact that high quality parts and materials were hard to come by during the communist regime.
When the country regained its independence in 1991, the factory’s employees bought the factory from the government. In this buy-out, the majority was owned by the former managers, who struggled to keep the production going. Through the mid 1990’s, Dr. Indrek Laul, an Estonian pianist, gradually purchased company stocks and became its majority owner. With a team of managers he initiated the rise of the company. The instruments were redesigned through collaborating with Europe’s foremost piano experts and Estonian Academy of Sciences, aiming to create an instrument of the highest level. During this decade company focused on the American market, where sales were organized by Mr. Paul Vesterstein and Dr. Laul.
Since 2001, while becoming factory’s sole owner and uniting its US distribution, Dr. Laul’s musical family, along with pianist Reet Laul and conductor Venno Laul, has turned the tides and brought the piano yet to a higher level. During the next few years, a new production building was constructed and hundreds of changes and advancements were implemented in all piano models. Increasing the performance, appearance and durability, the instrument has come to fulfill the owner/pianist vision of highly expressive tone, touch and control.
In recent years, Estonia pianos have gained much recognition throughout the worlds, and were featured in many hundreds of publications, including Forbes, The Associate Press and Bloomberg News Network.