Julius Blüthner established his workshop in Leipzig, Germany in 1853. By 1900 Blüthner had become the largest piano maker in Germany, producing some 5,000 instruments annually.
Innovations such as the Aliquot string, a fourth string that vibrated sympathetically and that is tuned in unison as well as the cylindrical soundboard and angle cut hammers, created a unique voice for the Blüthner instrument.
Numerous royals, composers, conductors, artists, authors and performers have owned Blüthner pianos. They include Willhelm II, Emperor Franz Joseph I, Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Richard Wagner, Johann Strauss, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich. Sergei Rachmaninoff commented that “There are only two things which I took with me on my way to America…my wife and my precious Blüthner”.
Blüthners have also been used in pop music. One Blüthner piano owned by the Abbey Road Studios in London was used on some tracks of The Beatles’ Let It Be (1970) album, most notably, in the hits Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road.