The sound of tradition –
160 years of piano making at Seiler’s

Seiler today is one of Europe’s most important manufacturers of pianos and grands – since 1849, the company keeps giving anwers to the question about the perfect piano. Due to this aim for perfection, the name of Seiler has an excellent renown worldwide after these 160 years – just like the pianos and grands that bear this name…

1849

In 1849, Eduard Seiler founds the “Pianoforte-Fabrik” at Liegnitz. His vision: he wants to provide pianos and grands as well for professional use as for middle classes to allow them to explore the world of music. The first Seiler piano is already characterized by the unique, transparent Seiler sound. A lot of work is put in the construction and assembly of the first Instruments, handmade from best materials in small workshops. The aim is clear: to reach perfection. The efforts lead to success – In 1872, for example, Seiler receives a gold medal at Moscow for the outstanding quality. Thus, the workshops soon become too small. The Pianoforte-Fabrik therefore moves to Steinmarkt no.3 in 1860 and opens showrooms in Goldbergerstraße. The two sons, Paul and Max are more and more supporting their father.


After some years with troubles such as the wars of 1864, 1866 and 1870/71, a new business increase follows that makes Eduard Seiler have a new steam-powered factory built in 1873, where more than 100 workers start producing in spring of 1874. Eduard Seiler dies soon. Afterwards in autumn of 1875. The company is run by the sons Paul and Max for the next four years before both die young in 1879.

8.348 square metres of stock capacity

Main wood yard at the Liegnitz factory

Awards

1879

In the meantime, the younger brother Johannes Seiler has finished his apprenticeship in the craft of piano making. He does not only gather experiences in his father’s factory, but also works in other well-known factories during some years of travelling through Europe. Therefore, Johannes Seiler becomes technical director in1879, his brothers-in-law August Lauterbach and Oswald Kasig joining the company as sales managers. Due to these three managers, Seiler piano company becomes one of Germany’s and the World’s foremost piano makers. Prizes and awards from Vienna, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Chicago, Berlin and Milan form the basis of Seiler’s Worldwide reknown. In 1882, own action and keyboard production starts. The wood yards have the extent of whole quarters.

1896 and 1907

Big new factory buildings

1896

1896 and 1907, big new factory buildings are built; So that now 350 workers are employed. More than 40 of them have be working for Seiler for more than 25 years then, which helps to assure consistent quality of the instruments. The annual production at that time is about 2.000 grands and pianinos (Italian for “small piano”, which was then the usual term for what today is called “upright piano”). After Johannes Seiler’s death in 1907, his nephew Robert Lauterbach becomes head of the Company, Ludwig Lauterbach becoming Sales Director.

around 1907

Veneer production in the early 20th century

1907

Seiler becomes an international company

Since 1893, Seiler runs a big dependency at Berlin. That is managed by Dr. Richard Stern. In 1907, a Dependency opens at Breslau (Wroclaw) that is run by a long-term employee and general manager, Willy Heinze. The London dependency is run by the gentlemen Barnes and Mullins who distribute Seiler pianos in England and its colonies, as Seiler instruments are extremely stable under tropic climate conditions. Seiler pianos and grands are state of the art: their nice sound and the easy touch are unsurpassed. At the best educational institutions such as the Royal Conservatory at Berlin and other leading universities, conservatories in Germany and abroad, Seiler pianinos and grands are in use.

The packing department

1923

Anton Seiler-Dütz, the son-in-law of Johannes Seiler becomes head of the company and continues its successful development – 430 employees make the company “Eastern Germany’s largest piano manufacturer”. World-famous artists and pianists  like Enrico Caruso, Arthur Nikisch and Ruggiero Leoncavallo are using Seiler instruments during their career. Seilers can also be found at the Bayreuth festival and in concert halls all over the World.

around 1960

Seiler factory

1963

Anton Seiler-Dütz’s son Steffen saves the consummate knowledge of 100 years of piano making by rescuing valuable sketches and frame moulds. He decides to make a new start, first in Denmark, then, from 1963 on, production of pianos based on Liegnitz models starts in the Franconian town of Kitzingen. With his pioneer spirit and creativity, Steffen Seiler Systematically enlarges the line-up from practising pianos to high-end concert grands. Hecontinued to develop the unique transparent Seiler sound by adding new patents such as the SMR technique (super-magnet repetition technique) or the DuoVox silent system. His name is therefore closely linked to the connection possibilities to digital devices for pianos, which add the musical world of the 21st century to the piano. The majority of the workers at Kitzingen factory are loyal to the company since many years – the basis for maintaining consistent high quality of Seiler pianos, now and in future.

2010

Our employees today