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1834, in Vienna, Austria

Conrad Graf Fortepiano

Conrad Graf was one of the most acclaimed fortepiano makers in Vienna between 1822 and 1842. He was appointed keyboard instrument maker to the Austrian court in 1824 and received a gold medal at the Austrian Industrial Products Exhibition in 1835.

This splendid 6.5-octave instrument with 80 keys was built in 1834 by Conrad Graf. Its beautiful walnut-veneered oak case is constructed almost entirely of wood, which produces a beautiful, elegant and romantic sound quite different from modern pianos, which are constructed around a metal frame. Identical Graf fortepianos were used by many well-known composers, including Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms.

Unusually, this particular model has five pedals, including a so-called “Turkish Pedal” for playing bells and a drum built into in the piano case, instead of the usual four pedals for controlling dampers.