Discover the secret of the unmistakable sound of August Forster pianos. We invite you to delve into the extraordinary history of this brand and learn about their unique patents. Thanks to which, their pianos stay in tune for a very long time. And an August Forster piano can play without major overhaul for up to 80 years! What famous pianist played on it? And is August Forster the same as Forster? You can find out all about it in the article below.

The story of five generations of constructors

The history of the August Forster brand begins in the 19th century in Löbau, a small town in south-eastern Germany. The founder of the brand was August Forster, who began his adventure in piano production with passion and determination on 1 April 1859. Initially, he worked independently, concentrating on handcrafting pianos with the highest sound quality and exceptional precision workmanship.

August Forster factory in Löbau, Germany
August Forster factory in Löbau, Germany

After August’s death, his son Caesar Forster took over the company. In 1900, he established a second branch of the factory in Georgswalde (Czech: Jirikov) in the Czech Republic. He did this to avoid the high import duties that were then in force in the Kingdom of Austria-Hungary. By setting up a production facility directly across the border, just 15 km from Löbau, the additional duties could be avoided and the sales area increased. This move resulted in later confusion in distinguishing original pianos of the August Forster brand. More on this later in the article.

The fate of the August Forster brand was not without its difficulties. During the period of nationalisation after the Second World War, the factory was taken over by the state. This created many challenges for continuity of production and maintaining high quality. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Forster family regained control of the factory. Restoring the brand to its former glory and continuing the tradition of producing pianos of the highest quality.

august forster

Today, the August Forster brand is still run by the fifth generation of the Förster family! Their commitment to maintaining consistently high sound quality and craftsmanship contributes to the continuation of the brand’s heritage and success. Which remains one of the leading piano manufacturers internationally.

August Forster or Forster piano?

As mentioned earlier, a second branch of the Forster factory was established in the Czech Republic in 1900. After 1945, it was already in Czechoslovakia. It was nationalised by the communists and handed over to Petrof administration. It also lost all links with the German subsidiary. Despite this, production of Forster pianos and grand pianos continued until 1960.

Until 2000, grand pianos with the August Forster logo were also produced at the Czech Petrof factory. However, apart from the name, they have nothing in common with pianos and grand pianos from Löbau – the German factory of August Forster. They have a completely different sound, quality and lower prices.

How do you tell the difference between a German August Forster piano and a Czech Forster piano? Carefully check the markings on the soundboard or the cast iron frame.

High-quality sound

From the very beginning, August Forster attached great importance to sound quality. His quest for perfection led to the creation of exceptional design solutions:

  • The uniquely shaped resonance plate, patented in 1866.
  • Very strong cast iron frame with specially constructed rear posts.

The secret of the incredibly warm and seductive sound of August Forster pianos lies not only in their unique soundboard. It is also due to the precise handcrafting of each piano. Today, around 40 skilled craftsmen and specialists work to produce around 110 grand pianos and 150 upright pianos every year! See the rest for yourself:

August Forster pianos are characterised not only by their remarkable durability, but also by their improved tuning stability and reliability. The strength and reputation of the Forster brand is also due to the fact that its pianos, even at 80 years of age, are often in better condition than much younger pianos from other brands.

August Forster grand piano basic models

160160 cm / 5’3″150 cm / 59″325 kg / 716 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
170170 cm / 5’7″150 cm / 59″350 kg / 772 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
190190 cm / 6’3″153 cm / 60″375 kg / 827 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
215215 cm / 7’1″158 cm / 62″470 kg / 1036 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
275275 cm / 9’158 cm / 62″550 kg / 1213 ibsCheck price on Klaviano

August Forster upright piano basic models

116 D116 cm / 46″152 cm / 60″58 cm / 23″215 kg / 474 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
116 E/C116 cm / 46″152 cm / 60″58 cm / 23″225 kg / 496 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
125 G125 cm / 49″153 cm / 60″62 cm / 24″240 kg / 529 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
125 F125 cm / 49″153 cm / 60″62 cm / 24″240 kg / 529 ibsCheck price on Klaviano
134 K134 cm / 53″153 cm / 60″63 cm / 25″280 kg / 617 ibsCheck price on Klaviano

When was my August Forster piano manufactured?

For the answer to this question, be sure to check the serial number of your instrument and then locate it within the date range below:

List of series numbers of August Forster pianos (click to open)

1859 – 1
1873 – 900
1876 – 1700
1880 – 2800
1900 – 10000
1904 – 15000
1910 – 25000
1917 – 40000
1924 – 50000
1929 – 60000
1937 – 73000
1944 – 82500
1952 – 102000
1960 – 122000
1965 – 133500
1970 – 140500
1975 – 148000
1980 – 154000
1990 – 160000
1996 – 162000
2001 – 163000
2005 – 164000
2009 – 164500
2012 – 165000

Appreciated by composers and pianists

August Förster

Many musicians have played on pianos of the August Forster brand. Among them we can mention: Sergei Prokofieff or Richard Strauss. We also know with certainty that Giacomo Puccini personally chose a grand piano from August Forster as his piano, on which he wrote many of his operas. August Forster’s trademark piano also played in one of the scenes in Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist. Which tells the story of the outstanding pianist Władysław Szpilman.

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