Two New Bösendorfer Grand Pianos

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Bösendorfer has unveiled two new grand pianos — the Concert Grand 230VC and the Camellia Grand.

studio shot of the Bösendorfer 230VC grand pianos

The 7ft 6in Bösendorfer Concert Grand 230VC is the latest addition to the company’s Vienna Concert (VC) series. This range launched in October 2015, and unites the identity and tradition of the Bösendorfer grand with the latest technological advances in both design and material science.

Bösendorfer’s technicians analysed all aspects of their traditional grand pianos and found many ways to improve performance whilst retaining the instruments’ traditional “Viennese sound”. Key to the success of the VC range is the pianos’ acoustic construction.

close up of the inside of the Bösendorfer 230VC showing the Vienna Concert logo

The amplification and projection of the sound is the most important element when designing a concert grand. Accordingly, the designers developed an extremely efficient new independent acoustic system around the soundboard. This enables the piano to deliver an exceptional dynamic range and depth of sound across the entire compass.

Amongst many other innovations, the VC series features new string scaling parameters. This not only improves the famous Bösendorfer sustain and timbral quality, but also distributes the tensile forces across the bass mid and treble ranges more evenly. And this has the knock-on effect of allowing improvements to be made to the subframe, cast-iron frame, case and keyboard.

The flagship Bösendorfer 280 VC was the first Vienna Concert piano to appear. The 170VC, 185VC, and 214VC followed. The new 230VC now completes (probably) the range.

The US retail price of the Bösendorfer Concert Grand 230VC is $200,999.

The Bösendorfer Camellia Grand

bent-side view of the Camellia Grand piano
(hover to zoom)

The Camellia Grand is a new “Collector’s Item” from Bösendorfer’s Marquetry Series of grand pianos. This is strictly a limited edition with a production run of just 18 instruments.

This is the fifth piano in the series. The range launched in 2013 with the Bösendorfer “Hummingbird”, followed by the “Schönbrunn” (2015), the “Butterfly” (2016) and the “Dragonfly” (2018).

These editions were each limited to 9 pianos, with the exception of the Dragonfly of which 18 were produced. The base instrument for these was the Model 200, although the Butterfly was available as a Model 214.

Exquisite Marquetry

Marquetry is the art of using many different pieces of wood veneer to create an image or design. The craft was widely used over the years to decorate pianos, but few modern-day instruments are finished in this manner.

photo showing the music rest and the inlaid camellia

Fine examples of marquetry exist throughout the Imperial Palaces of Vienna – in particular at the Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburgs.

The casework designs of the Marquetry series instruments are heavily influenced by the art from these palaces. Further inspiration for this new addition to the series comes from the Palm House of the Schloss Schönbrunn. Here Empress Maria Theresia and her husband Franz Stephan collected exotic flora from around the world. This included a very special display of camellias.

The underside of the Camellia Grand’s lid is inlaid with an intricate design of pink and red camellias. Bösendorfer’s craftsmen have used tulip, sycamore, ash, and walnut veneers to exceptional effect. Both the inner rim of the casework and the pin block have a maple inlay. In addition, the music rack incorporates a birds-eye maple inlaid representation of the camellia flower.

closeup of the marquetry on the lid - the image also shows the individually numbered brass plaque
Close-up of the marquetry on the underside of the lid, and the special limited edition plaque

An individually numbered brass plaque adorns the bass keyblock.

The 7ft Bösendorfer 214VC with a polished black finish, is the canvas for the “Camellia”. The piano is entirely build in Austria. And should you wish to purchase one of the eighteen instruments it will cost you $245,999.00 (US), with delivery time of about 8 months.

More information on both these new instruments is available on the Bösendorfer website.


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