history

An Admired Heritage

Since 1979, it has been our dream to make Bernstein the premier Australian piano. This dream has finally been made possible with the Bernstein Platinum series, thanks to the help of the expert team of piano technicians and sound engineers from around Australia and Europe.

Bernstein pianos have stood the test of time in some of our most demanding performance venues, radio studios, churches, and homes. Young pianists have fuelled their musical passion at the National Bernstein Piano Competition – proudly Australia’s longest running piano competition. Television and radio shows have flourished around its name; long running programs like the Team of Pianists’ Bernstein Piano Hour and television’s Piano Talk series.

Bernstein holds a proud history, particularly the close relationship with renowned German piano designer, Klaus Fenner. Please visit the website www.bernsteinpianos.com.au to explore the Bernstein heritage.

Bernstein has passed every test to be a registered Australian trademark at the highest level.

Bernstein is offered throughout Australia at specialty dealers; selected for their outstanding level of service and expertise. You can trust that your new piano will be meticulously prepared, carefully delivered and service supported for the future.  

Experience the choice for pianists demanding the finest piano money can buy at a family price. Of course, 10,000 Australian owners cannot be wrong.

 

Since 1981, Bernstein Pianos have offered Australians high performance instruments at affordable prices.

The European parts and quality design of a Bernstein piano ensure great playing and enjoyment for pianists of all levels.
The Bernstein Hailun series pianos are manufactured at the Ningbo factory in China. Since the 1950s this factory has been producing frames and parts for piano manufacturers worldwide. In 1986, Mr. Hailun Chen purchased this factory, and with his extensive engineering experience, Mr. Chen’s unique parts became highly demanded worldwide.
Mr. Chen developed his factory to complete the full stages of piano assembly, which seemed a natural transition with his efficient workforce of more than 900 people. This placed Hailun amongst the world’s largest piano manufacturers. Mr. Chen invested significant money in state-of-the-art machinery not just to replicate designs, but also to refine designs to an even higher standard. The pianos from this factory have experienced great success in Europe and are now available to the American and Australian markets. On August 16, 2005 the first Chinese-made concert grand piano was featured in the Viennese Golden Concert Hall for a German peace celebration. This piano was a Hailun grand piano. Musico P/L is very pleased to introduce the Bernstein Hailun series to Australia.


Bernstein...through the decades in Australia

1978: Music Nominees Wholesale was formed to assist the buying of a group of stores in Victoria.

1979: Piano retailer, Bernies Music Land was approached to assist the immigration of a Malaysian who was distributing Bernstein pianos in Malaysia. This was also the first year that Managing Director Bernie Capicchiano attended the Frankfurt Music Messe and met with Mr. Jan Thurmer of Thurmer Pianos, then in Horve, Germany.

1980: At the Frankfurt Music Messe, Bernie met the famous German piano designer Mr. Klaus Fanner at a Thurmer dinner in Rhodelheim.

1981: Negotiations began with Korean manufacturer Handok for the first shipments of Bernstein pianos for the Australia market.
 

1983: Designer Klaus Fanner began a contract with Samick Piano Manufacturers in Korea.

1985: The first Samick models arrived, ordered in conjunction with Studio 19. Among the models was the 'Imperial'. Bernstein was also a very active brand in New Zealand and the distributor there produced an extensive composite brochure that was printed in Australia.

1986: At the Frankfurt Music Messe, Samick launched their new Klaus Fenner Series. At dinner, Klaus explained to Bernie which models were his full design. Uprights were 108, 110, 118 and 127 and Grands were 172, 205 and 225. The 108S model was called the 'Challenge' as it would challenge any piano in its size for touch and tone. On return to Australia, Bernie ordered the new models exclusively as Bernstein for Australia and started a major promotion plan. The models won an Olympic Design Award and were highly acclaimed. The Bernstein Australia business name was now registered.

1988: Klaus Fanner visited Australia exclusively for Bernstein. He conducted a seminar for 90 tuners at Preston College of Technology. He attended and presided at the first Bernstein Piano Competition held in Malvern. The adjudicators were Ms.Nehama Patkin and Ms.Jean Starling. The winner was Rebecca Chambers, who chose to retain the Bernstein ‘Performer’ that was loaned to her as part of her prize. Rebecca went on to win a Manhattan scholarship and became Young Australian of the Year in 1996. The model 205 used for the competition was subsequently purchased by Whitehorse Council for their Performing Arts Centre. Professor Max Cooke set out the competition details and was an adjudicator at the first Grand Final.

1989: Mr. Jan Thurmer visited Melbourne.Through a discussion with Max Cooke and Darryl Coote, a radio program evolved called ‘The Bernstein Piano Hour’. Recordings were made on a Model 172 Grand at Bernies Music Land in Box Hill.

1990: A new warehouse and headquarters for Bernstein Australia was established in Canterbury Road, Ringwood. Bernstein was the preferred piano for the World of Music buying group and featured in catalogues for 38 stores throughout Australia. In Europe, models 110 and 118 were highly acclaimed after rigorous testing.

1991: Bernstein Master classes were introduced to compliment the Bernstein Piano Competition, which was also introduced in Shepparton.

 

1992: Bernstein Trademark protection was completed in Australia.

1992: The Open Section of the Shepparton Piano Competition expanded to become the Australian National Piano Award with major prizes. Bernstein pianos were supplied for the finals in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000. To celebrate the arrival of the Model 225 Grand, a new CD called ‘Teamwork’ was recorded my Professor Max Cooke, Darryl Coote and Robert Chamberlain, who formed the Team of Pianists in 1989. Bernstein exhibited for the first time at the Piano Tuners Convention in Canberra.

1993: A Bernstein Model 225 Grand was made available for a series of chamber concerts in various National Trust Buildings, including Rippon lea Estate in Elsternwick. The success of the concerts led the National Trust to purchase the piano at the end of the following year. The economic recession depleted many of the Bernstein retailers.

1995: New model 108PN introduced. Named ‘Cadet’, it was very dynamic for its size and helped Bernstein recover sales in Australia. First Model 275 concert grand was selected by an Australian client in Korea. Klaus Fenner commenced working on designs with Yantai Longfeng in China.

1998: Bernstein featured at the New Zealand piano tuners convention in Auckland, together with South Pacific Distributors (the New Zealand distributors).

1999: Visit to Australia by Samick President, Baik Lee.

2000: World Series models released. Bernie visited The Yantai Longfeng piano factory in China.

2003: Visit by the new owners of Samick. Introduction of Indonesian model 112 ‘Select’.

2005: In January 2005 Klaus Fenner passed away, 3 months before his 80th birthday. In March 2005 Samick announced the discontinuation of Korean models. Bernstein Australia choose models from Yantai/Ningbo for the Australian market. Initial models were 115 ‘Avanti’, 123 ‘Applause’ and 151 ‘Baby Grand’. Bernie visits the Ningbo factory in November 2005.

2006: ‘Hailun Series’ from Ningbo well received in Australia and upright models 121 ‘Allegro’ and ‘Elegance’ were added as well as the 161 and 178 grand pianos.

2007: Australian Bernstein dealers visited Ningbo ‘Hailun’ factory in Ningbo to sample new 277 ‘Concert Grand’ and 198 ‘Conservatory Grand’.

2008:Mr. Hailun Chen visits Australia. Hailun Series 277 Concert grand is selected for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics . This year also marked the 21st Bernstein Piano Competition anniversary.

   

 

 

 
 
 
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