Gaveau of Paris was a French piano manufacturer. The company was established by Joseph Gabriel Gaveau in 1847 in Paris and used to be one of the three largest piano makers in France (after Érard and Pleyel). A large factory was located at Fontenay-sous-Bois.
Some Gaveau pianos were constructed with art cabinets. Many pianos have been equipped with pneumatic systems (Odeola, Ampico and Welte).
In 1960, Gaveau merged with Érard. From 1971 to 1994 Gaveau pianos were made by Pianoforte manufacturing company Wilhelm Schimmel. The brand is currently owned by Manufacture Française de Pianos, the same company that owns the Pleyel and Erard brands. Today, Manufacture Française de Pianos manufactures certain models under the Gaveau name.
Joseph Gabriel Gaveau had six children, and Étienne Gaveau received competition from his brothers.
Gabriel Gaveau was established in 1911. Gabriel Gaveau made some pianos with pedal or Duo-Art systems, and was located in 1919, 55-57 Av. Malakoff, 75016 (This part is now Av. Raymond Poincaré, near the Trocadéro). This plant was requisitioned by the Germans in 1939.
Also in 1911, Augustin Gaveau created his own piano company with his own style of upright pianos.
In his autobiography “My Young Years”, Artur Rubinstein recounts how he was contracted to play Gaveau pianos in concert. He writes of their “Stiff unresponsive action” and “Coldness of tone”.
Also artists like Camille Saint-Saëns or Alfred Cortot enjoyed playing their Gaveau, interpreting artists like Chopin, Debussy or Satie.
A large building, including the manufacturer’s headquarters and a 1020-seat concert hall named Salle Gaveau, was built for Gaveau by the architect Jacques Hermant in 1906. The concert hall, located at 45, rue la Boétie in the 8th arrondissement, is active with classical and jazz music. The Salle Rostropovitch is a smaller hall or reception room that can accommodate about 250 people seated or 800 standing.