The country of Estonia has long been known for making pianos, despite the fact that many people have no idea where they are!  This country in Northern Europe has had quite the history, as it was under the rule of many other countries until finally finding independence in 1918 and then again in 1991.  Pianos have been produced within the country that entire time and for almost one hundred years, from 1850 until 1940, there were at least twenty different piano manufacturers there.

Out of all those manufacturers, the most famous one was Ernst Hiis-Ihse.  He worked in both the Blüthner and Steinway Hamburg factories before opening his own company in 1893.  His pianos were always the best, which is why the government chose him to run the company that they named Estonia.  The government closed all the other piano manufacturing companies down and made many of the workers go to work for Hiis-Ihse.

His pianos sold fabulously over the years and they could be found in concert halls all throughout Eastern Europe.  However, all that changed when the Soviet Union took over the country and Hiis-Ihse died in 1964.  While the other factory workers knew how to produce his dream pianos, they had too much trouble finding the parts that they needed to make them.

Once the country of Estonia gained its independence once again, the workers at the factory worked hard to get their pianos back to number one.  They began by selling them in the United States, but what really helped was when an Estonian pianist, Dr. Indrek Laul, took an interest in the company.  He continued to purchase shares of the company until he was finally the majority owner and then he assisted with redesigning the pianos to take them to the next level.

While there were only two Estonia piano models in the beginning, later Estonia was introduced a few more models.  Each model has sand-cast plates, laminated birch rims, laminated red beech pinblocks, solid spruce soundboards, and Renner hammers and actions.  They also have three pedals, an adjustable bench, and a slow-close fallboard.

The Estonia Piano Company will also make custom finished pianos for pianists and other clients by using gorgeous veneers that include mahogany, rosewood, and Makassar ebony.  These pianos have garnered a following once again in recent years and that shouldn’t change in the future, as each piano they produce gets better than the one before.

For more information please call Maggie Pollio – Houston Piano Consultant at 832.594.7267 or maggie@houstonpianoconsultant.com.