My first exposure to Blüthner pianos was at the NAMM show in, I think, 1996. I was really taken by the quality of the instruments. I stopped into their booth and met Ingbert Blüthner and his son, Christian, for the first time. They told me that the Onofrio Piano Company of Denver had just taken on the line.
A few weeks later, a brand new ebony polish Model 4 Blüthner was delivered to Onofrio’s store on south Broadway. Months went by, and every time I happened by their store, I would tease Joe Onofrio. I would tell him how beautiful the Blüthner was; that it was, by far, the best piano in the building; and that, “You morons can’t sell it”.
Well, about a year later, Onofrio called me and said, “OK, Superman, let’s see you sell this thing”. So he sent it out to my shop. We did our usual prep work on the piano and put it on the floor. About ten days, later a customer traded in a Seiler that I had sold them to upgrade to the Blüthner.
When the warranty papers were sent in, the representative for Blüthner called Onofrio and congratulated him on the sale. He asked him which model he would like to order next. Onofrio told him, “You are talking to the wrong Joe”. He explained what had transpired and put him in touch with me. I was the Colorado Blüthner dealer from then on and sold ten Blüthner Grands the first year!
At that point, I wanted to name one of our new Aussie pups Blüthner, but the kids insisted she be called Diamond instead.
(Pictured above: Diamond “Bluthner” Woods)