Sebastien Erard

Sebastien Erard

Sebastien Erard built his first piano in about 1777 and obtained a license from Louis XVI to produce pianos for the French Court.
In 1789, the French Revolution destroyed Sebastien Erard’s business. He moved his family to London and immediately began building pianos there. He returned to Paris in 1796. Part of his family remained in London building Erard pianos in London throughout the 19th Century.
Sebastien Erard continuously improved the design and manufacturing techniques. Many of his patents are still used in piano manufacturing today. Erard pianos are among the most elaborate, expensive pianos ever produced and are known for their unique forte-piano quality. After WWI, musical taste changed in favor of a harsher tone and the Erard pianos began to be perceived as outdated. Erard continued to produce high-quality pianos until the 1930’s.
Erard Paris supplied pianos to Adolphe Adam, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Ludwig van Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, Emmanuel Chabrier, Ernest Chausson, Frédéric Chopin, Jean Cras, Léo Delibes, Henri Duparc, Herni Dutilleux, Louise Farrenc, Gabriel Fauré, César Frank, Charles Gounod, Arthur Honegger, Johann Nepomuk Hummel (Erard London), Vincent d’Indy, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Franz Liszt, Jules Massenet, Felix Mendelssohn (Erard London), Ignaz Moscheles (Erard London), Henri Rabaud, Maurice Ravel, Clara Schumann-Wiek, Ludwig Schunke (Erard London), Gaspare Spontini, Sigismund Thalberg, Giuseppe Verdi, Pauline Viardot-Garcia, Henri Vieuxtemps, Richard Wagner and Charles-Marie Widor
The Palais Kraft Erard grand piano is a Model N° 1 demi-queue, serial number 115 881 from 1926. The Model 1° was built from 1850 until 1931. Maurice Ravel owned an identical Model 1° delivered 1909.