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The Fridolin Schimmel line of uprights, designed in a collaboration
between Schimmel and Pearl River.

Schimmel Piano

Alliance with Pearl River yields high-value “Fridolin” line

The new Fridolin Schimmel piano line is the product of the alliance between Germany’s venerable Schimmel Piano Company and Pearl River Piano of Guangzhou, China. Unlike most previous European-Asian tie-ups that have simply involved pasting a well-known European logo on the fallboard of an Asian instrument, the Fridolin Schimmel pianos are an entirely new product line, designed from the ground up by a team of Schimmel and Pearl River engineers. “It was a fantastic experience developing the first three models,” said Hannes Schimmel-Vogel, CEO of the Schimmel company. “Our Alliance with Pearl River allowed a totally new way of developing instruments. Usually, trust is the unbreakable barrier for such projects. In our case it was the foundation.”

The first three models in the Fridolin Schimmel line, the F 123, F 121 and F 116 uprights, were completely designed by Schimmel based on time-tested Schimmel scale designs. The project involved a significant investment in completely new molds, templates, and tools to allow the Pearl River factory to execute the designs to Schimmel’s precise tolerances.

The brand name pays homage to Fridolin Schimmel, the younger brother of Schimmel Pianos’ founder Wilhelm Schimmel. Fridolin Schimmel immigrated to the U.S. in 1893, launching his own piano company in Faribault, Minnesota. “The reference to our ancestor Fridolin reflects our commitment to make this new line ‘as good as it gets,’” said Schimmel-Vogel. “It also closely connects it to our Schimmel and Wilhelm Schimmel brands.” He also points out that it is the first of many projects to come from the Schimmel/Pearl River-Alliance: “We are still a family-run company, but having the world’s largest piano maker as our major shareholder affords us many additional opportunities,” he said.

Schimmel has “tested the water” during the last months, previewing the Fridolin Schimmel line with selected dealers around the world. The instruments have been very well received and both Schimmel and its dealers are very optimistic about their market prospects. “In the coming year we will add more models to the line, both uprights and grands, of course all following the brand’s philosophy,” said Schimmel-Vogel. “We are really looking forward to fully introducing the line to the American dealer network at NAMM in January.”


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