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The Baldwin Piano is one of America's most important and famous piano brands and is still designed, engineered and headquartered in the USA. For more than 150 years Baldwin has been known as America's favorite piano. For good reason too because nearly everyone knows someone who has a Baldwin in their family or a friend who has a Baldwin grand or remember the Baldwin in the school they went to. For those old enough to remember Liberace (Liberace at the Baldwin ) and piano man Billy Joel playing Baldwin (Billy Joel at his Baldwin ) exclusively for most of their careers.
The company was founded by Dwight Hamilton Baldwin a Cincinnati music educator. He started it with $2,000 he saved from teaching for seven years. He used the money to start his own retail piano shop in 1862 selling Chickering, Steinway, Decker Brothers, and Vose pianos as well as Estey Reed organs and a small number of pianos manufactured by The Ohio Valley Piano Co. sold under the D.H. Baldwin & Co. name. In 1865 Baldwin hired Lucien Wulsin as a bookkeeper and in 1873 offered him a full partnership in the company. In 1887 Steinway made one of the biggest errors in their history. They cancelled Baldwin as a Steinway & Sons piano dealer thereby creating Steinway's biggest domestic competitor of the 20th century. This cancellation led the Baldwin company to begin designing and building their own pianos and organs. In 1889 they acquired the Hamilton organ company of Chicago and the following year established the Baldwin Piano Company. Their goal was to put the Baldwin brand on only the highest quality pianos made. Baldwin vowed to build "the best piano that could be built" and subsequently formed two production companies: Hamilton Organ, which built reed organs, and the Baldwin Piano Company, which made pianos. The company's first piano, an upright, began selling in 1891. The company introduced its first grand piano in 1895.
At the end of World War II Baldwin immediately reset their goals on challenging Steinway on the concert stage. Baldwin pianos were routinely seen in movies, television and the concert stage thanks in part to Hollywood Piano. Many of the most famous pianists, conductors, performers institutions and venues depended on the Baldwin piano for their artistic and creative inspiration. By 1953 the company had doubled production figures from prewar levels. In 1946, Baldwin introduced its first electronic organ (developed in 1941) which became so successful that the company changed its name to the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company. In 1961, Lucien Wulsin III became president. By 1963, the company had acquired C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik and remained its owner until 1986. In 1965, Baldwin constructed a new piano manufacturing plant in Conway, Arkansas, originally to manufacture upright pianos: by 1973, the company had built 1,000,000 upright pianos.
In modern times the Baldwin company diversified into banking and finance. It became one of the nations largest financial services companies showing up on the Fortune 500. When things went sour for the giant company the piano division was sold to management. This was about the same time many American manufacturers of a broad range of products from automobiles to pianos fell behind foreign competition who were offering lower priced and more consistent quality products. During this time there were number of the remaining American manufacturers who closed or were purchased including American Aeolian, Wurlitzer, (purchased by Baldwin), Sohmer, Universal Player, Story & Clark, Falcone, and Kimball. Of the old time piano companies from the 1800s only Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin and Steinway & Sons remained after the dust settled. All of these three remaining piano companies also went through purchases by outsiders or total restructuring.
Seeing a good opportunity Gibson Guitar purchased the company adding Baldwin to their growing family of brands. Being a global company and realizing the costs of continuing to manufacture pianos in the USA would make their products non-competitively priced in the world market, they choose to move all production to China in 2008 and set up their own factories to build their own piano their own way. Admittedly they had some missteps along the way until they decided they would not manufacture upright pianos in the USA ever again freeing them to make their time honored upright piano line using the original designs overseas. With no worry of hurting domestic production they were free to make the best piano they could make in their overseas factory. In our opinion they exceeded that goal making what we believe strongly to be the best Baldwin uprights in decades which not only sound and play better than most other pianos in the market but are also one of the truly great values in the piano word.
Baldwin operated and ran a major concert and artist program which was second only to Steinway. Many distinguished musicians had chosen to compose, perform and record using Baldwin pianos over the years, including the pianists Walter Gieseking, Claudio Arrau, Jorge Bolet, Earl Wild and José Iturbi and the composers Aaron Copeland, Philip Glass, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim and John Williams. Baldwin pianos have been used by popular entertainers who are or at one time were official Baldwin artists including Ray Charles, Liberace, Richard Carpenter, Billy Joel, Michael Feinstein, Paul Schaffer, Carly Simon, Dave Brubeck, Benfolds, Dick Hyman, George Shearing, Marian McPartland, Armenia Adams, Clay Aiken, Monty Alexander, Dave Brubeck, Jo Ann Castle, Dino, Peter Duchin, Charles Dutoit, Morton Estrin, Arthur Ferrante, Stephen Flaherty,Ben Folds, Deborah Gibson, Mickey Gilley, Eric Hamelin, Dick Hyman, Wladimir Jan Kochanski, Steve Kuhn, Erich Kunzel, Michael John LaChiusa, Keith Lockhart, Richard Marx, Les McCann, Rickey Minor, Patrick Moraz, Seiji Ozawa, Anne Patrick, Luciano Pavarotti, Steve Reich, Santiago Rodriguez, Diane Schuur, Bobby Short, Abbey Simon, Rufus Wainwright, Robert Weiric, Earl Wild and even Miley Cyrus.
The Hollywood Piano Showroom has been the #1 Los Angeles Baldwin Piano Dealer since the 40's and continues to deliver quality Baldwin pianos to clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Burbank, Pasadena and Southern California.
For residents of Los Angeles there is one solution when it comes to finding the best in Baldwin pianos, tuning, Baldwin piano accessories and related services. Hollywood Piano has been serving piano lovers with quality Los Angeles Baldwin piano models for many years and has won numerous accolades and accomplishments along the way including Hollywood Piano being named the #1 Baldwin dealer in the USA for Baldwin for the 2nd year in a row. When it comes to buying a new Baldwin piano in LA, fixing an old one or even trying to find a buyer for your old Baldwin piano, there is no better place than Hollywood Piano.