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 Post subject: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:45 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
A friend of a friend, who frequently visits Prague, has been hearing
rumours, probably malicious, that cashflow problems at Petrof, the Czech
family business which has been making pianos for nearly 150 years, are
sufficiently severe as to risk forcing the company to close within a
year unless a backer can be found to provide a major cash injection.

He says secret negotiations have been taking place with various possible
parties, and the latest gossip on the street is that agreement has just
been reached with the giant consortium ONAI, little known outside the
Czech Republic. The deal, due to be announced this week, is in effect a
takeover, but the piano business will continue to be permitted to use
the family name alongside that of the consortium. Starting this month,
all instruments shipped from the factory will now be branded ONAIPETROF.

Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:41 pm 
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rainer wrote:
Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.

Neato! :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:41 am 
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Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012


My spider senses are tingling... But that's still very clever :P


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Oh! That's a good one. :) I really didn't think it was an April Fools joke. I went and told this information to someone else too..... :oops: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:53 pm 
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I would wait till Rainer confirms or denies that one.

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He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
pianolady wrote:
I went and told this information to someone else too.....
I hope you didn't tell it to anyone connected with Petrof's lawyers, or they'll be coming after me for libel. :(

A year or so ago, a local school acquired a new Petrof grand piano, a brand I hadn't heard of before, but since the name sounded Eastern European, the implication was that the piano was most likely to have been relatively inexpensive (compared with, say, an equivalent Yamaha, and the school couldn't have afforded a new one of those, let alone a Steinway).

I have this habit of sometimes looking at a word and imagining what it might spell backwards. So I looked again at the name and noted that it would spell "Fortep", which caused the usually feeble word-association part of my brain to spit out "Fortepiano". Wouldn't it be neat, thought I, if Mr Petrof's first name had been Onai. It seemed pretty unlikely that such a name even existed, but that doesn't mean it can't, so imagining it is OK.

I was on the lookout for material for a possible April Fool's here, and remembered the Petrof piano. Then I thought that big corporations often use made up names which look as though they could be acronyms, but often aren't, so it seemed quite plausible that "Onai" could be the name of some obscure foreign corporation, and the rest of the story was very straightforward to fabricate. But that's just what it is, a fabrication.

For the lawyers: I am not aware of any suggestion that the Petrof company is or has been in financial difficulty or in need of being bailed out by a takeover.

For those of you who recognised it straight away as an April Fool's: Well done!

For the rest of you: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Very good Rainer!

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
rainer wrote:
A friend of a friend, who frequently visits Prague, has been hearing
rumours, probably malicious, that cashflow problems at Petrof, the Czech
family business which has been making pianos for nearly 150 years, are
sufficiently severe as to risk forcing the company to close within a
year unless a backer can be found to provide a major cash injection.

He says secret negotiations have been taking place with various possible
parties, and the latest gossip on the street is that agreement has just
been reached with the giant consortium ONAI, little known outside the
Czech Republic. The deal, due to be announced this week, is in effect a
takeover, but the piano business will continue to be permitted to use
the family name alongside that of the consortium. Starting this month,
all instruments shipped from the factory will now be branded ONAIPETROF.

Whoever the backer was going to be, a change of branding was going to be
virtually unavoidable, and my friend thinks that the consortium's name
was one of the factors which Petrof management took into account in
their choice of backer, considering what you get when you spell the new
brand name backwards.
Hi rainer, you realize that someone reading this two months from now won't realize that this is creative fiction, let alone that it's meant as an April Fool's joke. Some might not even read beyond the opening thread as the headline alone might misinform them. This might become misleading as no one reads dates. I admit, you were making a convincing three paragraph argument until you mentioned ONAI. :P No corporate backer would change the Petrof name as that's the most valuable asset of name recognition. Just like Steinway has been bought out by several corporations. Personally, for the money, one is better off with August Forster or Grotrian without getting into Steinway/Fazioi prices. I thought you were going to say that a Chinese firm was going to buy the company/name. Hey, at this rate, it's bound to happen someday with many famous brand names...

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Posts: 8413
I thought I had read somewhere that Baldwin bought Bosendorfer or the other way around. Except now I can't find where I saw that. Maybe I'm thinking of two different companies.... :?

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:58 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Gibson (guitars) bought Baldwin. :( But I don't think Baldwin is even in business anymore. Anybody know? I think it was Yamaha that bought Bosendorfer.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Oh! Then I can say that I have a Bosendorfer, sorta.... :lol:

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Bosendorfer has been sold several times over. In 1966 Kimball pianos bought it. About ten years ago, a Hong Kong group BAWAG bought Bosendorfer. Then I remember reading in Forbes that they were acquired by an American hedge fund who in turn sold it to Yamaha about 5 years ago. It was a big blow to the Austrian pride to be outbid by a convincing margin, but Yamaha at the time was the largest piano company in terms of volume. Fortunately, Yamaha pledged to keep the maufacturing and employee relations in Austria. I actually thought thought that Schimmel could have acquired Bosendorfer just to keep things German, but they never budged.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Yamaha is a smart company.
Personally, I've never set a finger on a Bosendorfer so I can't claim to know what they are really like. I wouldn't mind trying one, though. :wink:
Have you ever played one, George?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
You want to know why I love my Baldwin 7' so much? It has the very same action as does the 9', the Bosendorfers and the Bechsteins: the Renner-made action. 8)

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
pianolady wrote:
Yamaha is a smart company.
Personally, I've never set a finger on a Bosendorfer so I can't claim to know what they are really like. I wouldn't mind trying one, though. :wink:
Have you ever played one, George?
Hi Monica, yes, Yamaha is an intelligent company, and is a major player in the world of pianos offering exceptional value in my opinion. Yes, I've played on the 214 (7') and the 225 (7'4") Bösendorfer in Boston. Traditionally, the older Bösendorfer pianos have a linear sound without tonal brightness or overtones which distinguish them from a Fazioli, Mason & Hamlin, or Steinway. It lacks that full body tone, but provides a darker sound that is mellow and warm. It is great for music up to Schubert, but not for the later Romantics like Rachmaninov. The sound is a bit demure in that it doesn't project into a larger concert hall when playing a concerto with a full orchestra. I find that there is a slight disparity of tone between the bass and treble registers. I have noticed that the action is slow on repeated notes and is a bit heavy for my taste. It also has less sustain than what I am accustomed to on other pianos. That's why I could never justify the price. Besides, the softer spruce in the rim can have knots which can perforate through the finish and after a dozen years or so it can look unaesthetic for a $100k+ instrument.

When I was in Vienna more recently, I played the 290 (9'6") Imperial Flügel. I noticed that the newer Bösendorfer pianos are toned brighter and the timbre is more percussive than the older Bösendorfer pianos I played on back in Boston several years back. This is a deviation from the traditional Viennese "Schmaltz" sound. I am not sure if this is a realization of Yamaha or Bösendorfer? Perhaps, in order to compete with the numerous bright sounding pianos of today, Bösendorfer is voicing their pianos to project a modern 'digital-ready' sound?

As an aside, my favorite piano is the Feurich - a small family owned German piano company that used to import 75 pianos to the U.S. Sadly, we no longer import them here. Ha, if I were buying a piano company, that would be the company to buy, and one wouldn't have to overbid for it due to their output. Leave it to the Germans to design something right! These pianos have an excellent action, responsive to varying touch, able to project and deliver multiple shadings from pppp to ffff. It has Steinway-like projection, overtones, and sustain; a golden bell-like sound, but darker and richer sound for that nostalgic character of mystical proportion. Feurich offers the perfect blend of tone and timbre in my opinion for Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov. I've played on many different pianos, but never has a piano moved me like a Feurich to this day. At the time, I was only a student, and couldn't even afford to buy the bench that I was sitting on to play. Before my current piano, I wrote to them a few years ago inquiring about importing a F227 here. The owner, Julius Feurich, responded to my question - talk about personal service. I realized that there were too many inhibitive variables with shipping, climate issues, etc., so I never pursued it further. But, if you're ever in Germany or Paris, do try to play a Feurich when you get a chance... Play a Chopin Nocturne on it, then you'll know what I am talking about. :wink:

However, and more importantly, your Yamaha is sounding better and better with each recording. So keep on smiling in your videos, and keep on making music in your recordings. :)

Hope you have a Happy Easter!
George

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