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Schimmel Piano Corp.
329 N. New Street
Lititz, Pennsylvania 17543
Pianos made by: Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany (Schimmel)
and Kalisz, Poland (Wilhelm Schimmel)
The Schimmel Piano Co. was established in 1885 by Wilhelm Schimmel in Neuschonefeld (near Leipzig),
Germany. The company built high quality upright, grand and player pianos, and with quick growth, a larger
factory was built in 1897 in Leipzig-Stoetteritz. Wilhelm retired in 1927, and his son became president of the
firm, while is brother managed the retail store in Leipzig. In the late 1920s due to the Great Depression, a
group of piano manufacturers formed a co-op and production facilities moved to Braunschweig, Germany.
The Schimmel Piano Co. left the co-op in 1931 and continued operations in Braunschweig as the Wilhelm
Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH. In 1961 Nikolas Wilhelm Schimmel, the third generation member of the
company, took control, and acquired the May Pianofortefabrik of Berlin by 1967. Nikolas Wilhelm Schimmel
was known as a true innovator, crafting many different designs and art case pianos of the highest quality.
By 1980 their modern production facilities were completed, with new woodworking facilities specializing in
cabinet parts and wooden components for piano and furniture industries added by the late 1990s. Nikolas
Wilhelm Schimmel retired in 2003, and Hannes Schimmel-Vogel (husband of Viola Schimmel) became
president, now representing the fourth generation of family management and ownership. In 2003 the
company acquired a piano restoration factory in Kalisz, Poland where it started to manufacture the Vogel
brand, a moderately priced line named after the president of the company. This line was then replaced by
the Wilhelm Schimmel brand in 2013. Some pianos bearing the name Meyer were exported to the USA until
supply of those instruments were exhausted. In 2007, Schimmel began importing an entry-level piano series
made in China under the May Berlin label, a name long owned by Schimmel but not recently used. May
Berlin pianos were discontinued by the end of 2012. In 2014, Schimmel selected Young Chang North
America to manufacture the Fridolin piano (named after Fridolin Schimmel, younger brother of founder,
Wilhelm Schimmel) exclusively for Schimmel dealers, replacing the price point of the previous May Berlin
model. In 2016, the Pearl River piano company in China purchased the majority of the Schimmel company
shares. However, the Schimmel family still remains as shareholders and manages the firm. In 2017, just
after the acquisition of the Schimmel company a year before, Pearl River manufactured Fridolin pianos
featuring scales, actions, and cabinets designed by Schimmel in Germany, and made to high quality
standards. Schimmel has been a pioneer of piano manufacturing in Europe, now using state-of-the-art
computer engineering software and machinery combined with handcrafted attention to detail.
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