Navigation Piano Contact Sponsorship Listen Label Piano Artists Project

Header Label

Maison Erard Amsterdam

Frits Janmaat is now recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on the restoration of French pianos. Based in Amsterdam since 1979, Frits has spent many years restoring pianos from a variety of sources, but he has always been attracted to the unique sound and beauty of Erard pianos.


In 1998, he decided to specialise in pianos from this house and founded the Maison Erard, based in Amsterdam. At the request of the Musee de la Musique in Paris, Frits restored an Erard concert grand piano which had been signed by Franz Liszt after a concert he gave in Lyon in 1844.


He has also restored an Erard for Jos van Immerseel, and subsequently supplied him with several other fine Erard pianos. In addition to restoring pianos, Frits also lectures and gives workshops in conservatories and music schools all over the world. More than 60 CDs have been made by a variety of artists using his restored instruments.


All these instruments have one thing in common, they are all straight strung. This gives the instrument a very high register-quality, meaning that it allows the piano to produce a clear, transparent tone in every register. This quality regrettably disappeared in pianos using the cross stringing system. Straight stringing gives beautiful and elegant sound and also on top of that an elegant design in every veneer type.


Many historically important composers have chosen for these parallel stringed instruments between 1830 and 1930. The list is long, but includes names such as Mendelssohn, Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Meyerbeer, L. de Meyer, Pixes, Herz, Tausig, Diepenbrock, Verdi, Wagner, Alkan, Saint-Saens and Fauré.