The company opened its first Bechstein Hall at 36 Wigmore Street in 1901. Because Bechstein was German-owned, the hall had to be given to Englishmen during World War I in 1916, and was reopened as "Wigmore Hall" the following year.
The new C. Bechstein Centre London building is located at 22 Wigmore Street and includes a two-story flagship showroom, 13 practice rooms and a selection room for concert hire pianos in the basement, as well as 8 apartments on the upper floors for private rentals.
The crown jewel of this project is a 100-seat concert venue, to be named 'Bechstein Hall'.
Terence Lewis, managing director of Jaques Samuel Pianos, the U.K. arm of C. Bechstein, will be artistic director and plans to "take a new and completely different approach to the way concerts are structured," as he says.
In addition to the proximity to its old home, C. Bechstein were also drawn to the history of 18-22 Wigmore St. which was redeveloped by piano manufacturer and retailer John Brinsmead and Sons in 1892 as showroom, offices and warehouse, before installing their own concert hall in 1894.
Lewis added: ‘Bechstein returns to the concert stage, which it once mastered as the favoured piano of the golden age of pianism. With this massive investment in London, one of the world’s leading centres of musical excellence, Bechstein proclaims boldly – it is back!’
Work is already underway on the new building, which is scheduled to open in spring 2023 and represents an investment of around £30 million.