The reinvention of an historic British brand
Like many manufacturers of the time, Danemann Pianos was originally based in Islington, London. From 1893 to 1980, the company produced a wide range of instruments from small uprights to concert grands, with actions supplied and built by Renner, Schwander and British Piano Actions. The brand received worldwide acclaim: as well as private homes, Danemann pianos were supplied to British embassies, P&O Lines and numerous schools and colleges around the world. Many people of a certain age will recall their school’s Danemann upright piano! Pianos were also exported worldwide, including tropicalized versions designed to cope with the temperatures and humidity in India and Africa.
The company was founded by William Danemann in 1893, who had trained with John Brinsmead of London. The brand weathered many historic events; after WWII, Danemann focused on making top quality instruments rather than supplying the mass market. Pianos were constructed from the very best materials available at the time. Attention to detail was always paramount: school pianos came with built in safety features including solid toe pegs front and back for stability; safety falls (keyboard covers); and double rubber castors to enable easy manoeuvring around a school hall or over small thresholds.
In 1963 the piano buyer for Harrods, Stanley Murdoch, commissioned W. Danemann & Co. to build ‘the best upright in the world’. The result was the HS2, based on the classic Danemann upright piano. After a couple of changes of ownership, production ceased in 1994, but Broughton Pianos Ltd of Stourbridge are delighted to announce their relaunch of the brand. Director Glenn Morris explains: “Many of us recall Danemann pianos from schools and homes of our childhoods; the brand is steeped in British history. As a long-standing family business ourselves, we are very excited to be able to offer a wide range of Danemann pianos once more.
“Post-Covid, many customers have expressed a desire for a more affordable range of pianos, without compromise on quality. We have worked hard to ensure that this NEW range fuses Danemann’s quality and attention to detail, with price points that will appeal to everyone.”
The new Danemann range boasts four upright and two grand models. The brand’s entry-level model, the DU-110, is reminiscent of the original Danemann school piano. Its compact contemporary styling will be familiar to many and remains the perfect complement to a modern or mid-century home. Slightly taller but still very compact, the DU-115’s more traditional styling places it perfectly in both modern and period homes. Two larger uprights, the DU-123 and DU-126, combine traditional styling with longer strings and larger soundboards, making them ideal for accomplished pianists or music studios. There’s even an option of a KeyMi silent system, currently available on both the DU-110 and DU-115. With an easy to use interface, this allows the pianist to switch to headphones with the choice of 129 voices; record their playing; and even hook up to a PA system for performing or recording. This option ensures that clients are able to enjoy the advantages of both a digital and acoustic piano for less than the price of many new upright pianos.
Glenn adds, “We’re already seeing considerable demand for Danemann pianos. I would encourage anyone in the market for a new piano to view and play the range themselves – just visit our showroom or any of our Danemann stockists nationwide. Feedback from technicians, pianists and customers so far has been superb and the entire team at Broughtons is happy to be associated with another well-respected brand”.