Friedrich August Försterfounded his factory in 1859 in Löbau, Germany. The family owned business became whole again after the privatization and reunification of East Germany, and is now managed by a fifth generation family member, Annekatrin Förster
Förster makes about 120 grand pianos each year in four sizes, and 150 verticals in three sizes, using a lot of hand labor. The pianos are very well built structurally, and the cabinets are elegant. The tone of their grand pianos has a unique bass: dark, deep, yet clear. The treble is often bright, and is considered a bit thin to some American tastes — it is a less complex sound that emphasizes clarity. This, however, can be somewhat modified after delivery.
Strings are individually single-strung. Soundboards are made of solid mountain-grown spruce, rims and pinblocks of beech, and bridges of hardrock maple. The actions are made by Renner with Renner hammers. The Renner actions are very responsive and arrive in exacting regulation. A sostenuto pedal is standard on all grand piano models.
The instruments are comfortably at home with classical or jazz. The 6′ 4″ model is often said to have an especially good scale. The concert-quality 7′ 2″ and 9′ 1″ models are well balanced tonally, and over the years have been endorsed by many famous artists.
The new 53″ model 134K anniversary upright, intended for pianists who don’t have space for a grand, has such grand-piano–like features as a full sostenuto; a large, adjustable music desk; and black keys of real ebony.
The quality of materials and workmanship of the Förster grands is largely true of the verticals as well. The cabinet of the vertical is of exceptional width, with extra-thick side panels of solid-core stock. Counter bridges are used on the outside of the soundboard to increase its mass. The verticals have a full set of agraffes, and all the hardware and handmade wood parts are of elegant quality. The actions are built by Renner. The verticals possess the same warm, rich, deep bass tone as the grands. August Forster uprights are some of the best upright pianos on the market.
Warranty: 5 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.