Founded: 1807 in Paris, France
Actual status: in production
Age: Pleyel piano serial numbers
What we know about Pleyel pianos?
n 1807, Ignace Pleyel, a leading figure in the musical life of France, renowned composer and contemporary of Mozart, editor of musical scores and talented inventor, opened a piano manufacturing plant which would make his name famous all over the world and which, under the impetus of his son Camille from 1825, is still internationally successful today.
To manufacture his own pianos, Ignace Pleyel teamed up with Charles Lemme, who owned a workshop in Paris. This partnership only lasted a short time, a mere three years, before Pleyel set up his own workshop at the end of 1807. Increasingly absorbed by his piano manufacturing workshop, he gave up his publishing house in 1809. Unfortunately for Ignace Pleyel, the sale of instruments went through a major crisis shortly afterwards and he struggled to sell his instruments.
Without the financial help of his musician friends, such as Kalkbrenner, Rossini and Mehul, Pleyel pianos would have had an extremely short existence. In 1824, his son Camille joined him to take over all his sales activities. Ignace Pleyel gradually moved away from musical life and retired to his Somereau home near Paris
Unlike other European piano brands, Pleyel has closed down its Parisian factory in 2013 due to expensive workforce and the impact of lower cost pianos imported from Asia.
Considering the cultural value associated to the Pleyel brand as well as its position and influence in the industry, Algam - second largest European music instruments distributor - bought back Pleyel in 2016. The French company then launched the building of a new factory in France (in the Pays de la Loire region) and initiated a large development plan for the brand in Asia-Pacific. Because the production of a Pleyel “Heritage” range, at more affordable prices, has already started in Indonesia at the plant of the Korean group Samick, a partner of Algam.
There, nearly 1,000 instruments per year are manufactured under the French brand, straight and salon models. Pianos made in Indonesia cost around 10,000 euros, those produced in France range between 30,000 and 80,000 euros.
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