Baldwin

Baldwin

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For Decades Hollywood Piano Is The Los Angeles Home Of Fine Baldwin Pianos

Hollywood Piano is also the authorized Baldwin piano dealer for Orange County, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County

DH BaldwinThe 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 LiberaceLiberace at baldwin (Liberace at the Baldwin ) and piano man Billy Joel playing Baldwin (Billy Joel at his Baldwin ) exclusively for most of their careers.

The History Of Baldwin Piano

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.  Baldwin FactoryTheir 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"[2] 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.

In 1899 Baldwin passed and Wulsin purchased Baldwin's estate guiding the company from retail to manufacturing. Baldwin won their first major award the "Grand Prix" in Paris in 1912. This was the first American manufactured piano to win such an award. Baldwin pianos also won top honors at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the 1914 Anglo-American Exposition. By 1913 Baldwin was exporting to thirty-two countries and had dozens of retailers throughout the United States.

Hollywood Piano Becomes The Los Angeles Baldwin Dealer In The 1940's

Baldwin factory exteriorBaldwin, like many other manufacturers, began building wildly successful player pianos in the 1920s. A piano factory was constructed in Cincinnati, Ohio. The player piano models became unpopular by the end of the 1920s, which, coupled with the beginning of the Great Depression, could have spelled disaster for Baldwin. However, the company's president, Lucien Wulsin II, had created a large reserve fund for such situations, and Baldwin was able to ride out the market downturn while many other companies closed for good.
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The Wulsin family made it be known that they intended to compete on the concert stage directly with Steinway and to promote the piano on the silver screen. In the early 40's Hollywood Piano became the Baldwin agent for the Los Angeles area to help them achieve their goals in film and for Los Angeles Baldwin Piano sales, rentals and service. The company immediately made inroads with Baldwin in the movies and on the concert stage. Then World War II came and the government ordered all manufacturers of pianos to cease piano manufacturing and put their energy toward the war effort.  Baldwin engineers designed techniques for laminating wood for airplanes. What the company learned by constructing plywood aircraft wings contributed to the development of their famous pinblock design, a version of which is still used today.

The Baldwin Piano Lays Claim To The Concert Stage And Movies

At the end of World War II BaldLeonard Bernstein BaldwinBruebeck recording with his Baldwinwin 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.

Gibson Headquarters

Baldwin Piano Becomes Part Of The Gibson Guitar Family

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.

Why Hollywood Piano Loves Baldwin Pianos

  1. That big 'American' sound - Deep sounding bass with 'bell-like' quality in the high treble are some of the hallmarks of this sound.  American piano philosophy of design includes piano frames and rims made using hard rock maple.  This material is also used for rims in Steinway & Sons and Mason & Hamlin pianos.  This material helps an instrument achieve a deep sound and longer lasting sustaining tone.  The big difference between Baldwin and the other two American makers using this material are the prices.  Baldwin is priced closer to other pianos from Asia even though its core material is the same as pianos costing many many times its price. You will not find this rim material in any similar or even higher priced piano from Yamaha or Kawai
  2. Working Center Pedal - All Baldwin grand pianos have a full working sustenueto pedal . All Baldwin upright pianos  feature a working center pedal similar to grand pianos.  In most other uprights this pedal is merely a switch to engage the mute rail to quiet the piano.  Understanding the mute rail is a popular feature on upright pianos, Baldwin includes this feature on a switch located under the keybed.  This is the only line of upright pianos on the market with both a working grand piano style middle pedal and a mute rail.
  3. Stealth Action™ - All Baldwin pianos have an action so quiet and noise free it's called Stealth! In the uprights you can distinguish this action by the black color of the parts.
  4. Brand Security - Baldwin is one of 4 of the most sought after brands on the market. It is division of the largest and strongest manufacturer of musical instruments in the USA, Gibson Guitar.
  5. Extreme Value -  Many people who set out to buy a Steinway piano get sticker shock when they look at the price.  Japanese brands Yamaha & Kawai make solid pianos but are often lacking in color, sustain and depth of tone that only hard wood rims and frames can provide. If you're after a Steinwayesque kind of American tone character, you don't have to settle for pianos that do not provide this tone such as the Japanese piano brands. For around the same price and often at less cost you can get that full, deep, sustaining American sound from a new Baldwin piano.  When you consider this example.  Their Hamilton Studio if still made in the USA is estimated to sell for $25,000 in 2017.  Today the new Baldwin Hamilton sells for a third or less of that amount while the comparable sized Steinway 1098 made in USA sells for $25,000k +. This is why the Baldwin is extreme value.

 Review Of Four Baldwin Models - pdf download

Baldwin Piano - A Popular Choice For Performers & Venues 

BP178-Lent quote

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 Copland, 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.


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Les Paul at the Les Paul Edition Baldwin Hamilton & President Harry Truman on the Whitehouse Baldwin

georgeshearing_McPartland infront of BaldwinOscar Peterson Baldwin'

Jazz Legends Marion McPartland & Geoge Shearing and Jazz Legend Oscar Peterson

Billy Joel on Baldwin

 Billy Joel Talks Baldwin

The beib on Baldwin piano

Elton_GAGA 52nd Grammy

Justin Beiber at the Baldwin in 2015 and 52nd Grammys Lady Gaga and Elton John

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.

 

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