1828 was an important year in the history of piano making in central Europe. Ignaz Bösendorfer the most famous of all Austrian piano builders took control of the Joseph Brodmann piano workshops which was then considered to be the most innovative and modern piano factory in Europe and therefore the world.
Joseph Brodmann was born in 1763 in Deuna/Eichsfeld (today Germany, Thüringen). As a young man, he came to Vienna and became the apprentice of the well known piano builder Frederick Hoffman. By this time, Vienna had already been established as the centre of the musical world influenced by the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert who all lived during his lifetime. Joseph Brodmann was one of the first and best known piano designers and craftsman of his time. In 1800, in the Lexicon of Musicians he was listed as “Joseph Brodmann - instrument maker, excelled in constructing horizontal fortepianos of solid finish“. In 1805 he was registered in the Court and State record department as an Organ and Piano maker.
His contribution to and inventions for piano design and piano making laid the groundwork for his most talented apprentice, Ignaz Bösendorfer whose pianos are still considered today by many as the finest pianos in the world.Joseph Brodmann was best known for his development work on piano soundboards. He is credited with greatly improving the necessary stiffness of the soundboard, so needed to withstand the increased string tensions demanded by the pianists of the day and therefore preventing the soundboard from tearing or splitting.
World famous musicians, composers and conductors, such as Carl Maria Friedrich Ernest von Weber purchased and endorsed Brodmann’s pianos. In a letter to his brother Weber euphorically praised his new Brodmann piano indicating it was the best piano he had ever played. more