Hear the piano thought to be too perfect by Beethoven - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
SOP Vienna: Nannette Streicher

In Vienna’s Central Cemetery, there is a section devoted to the many composers, musicians and other important figures from Vienna’s classical music heyday. Almost all of the luminaries buried there — Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss — are men, but if you look directly across from Beethoven’s tomb, you’ll find the gravestone of a remarkable woman named Nannette Streicher.

Streicher was a great friend of Beethoven’s — but she was also a business innovator and expert piano maker. She was born in 1769 in the Bavarian city of Augsburg into a family of piano makers. Her dad, Johann Streicher, invented something called the Viennese action, simplifying the inner workings of the piano to make the keys more responsive so you could play faster and louder.

To find out what made her and her pianos so special, we visited the Museum of Science and Technology in Vienna, where a couple of her pianos still survive. We were welcomed by Peter Aufreiter, the director of the museum. Come along as we look and listen inside the museum.

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