In 1935, owing to political unrest in the region, Jaques Samuel and his wife moved from Austria to London.
As Jaques was a piano tuner he set up as such in London and also started selling a few pianos that he had reconditioned. The 'shop' was situated in their front room in Notting Hill.
The business thrived and grew to become one of the most important piano houses and restoration factories in the UK.
Jaques Samuel (right) with Richard Strauss and Frieda Hempel.
Sadly Jaques suffered ill health in the 1960's and the business was sold in 1965; he died shortly after. In the 1960's, in addition to its large commercial hire business – which included the contract to supply the pianos for the BBC – the company began to hire pianos into private homes. It now (2018) has hundreds of pianos in homes around London and the home counties. The vast majority of students studying piano in London rent their pianos from Jaques Samuel Pianos.
In 1965 Jaques Samuel Pianos became Bechstein House.
The business was sold to Edward Mandel in 1965.
In 1972 the shop moves to 142 Edgware Road, its current location.
Through the 60's into the 90's the world changed and the prominence of the pianos – and music education –reduced which impacted on the music business as a whole.
Jaques Samuel Pianos at 142 Edgware Road
In 1996 Terence Lewis was appointed Managing Director (formerly piano buyer at Harrods). The shop is completely refurbished and the business modernized – the staff are even given computers!
Practice rooms are introduced starting with one (gradually increasing to sixteen in 2018).
The shop comes to life once again with hundreds of musicians passing through to use the rooms and facilities each day.
Under Terence's leadership Jaques Samuel Pianos was awarded 'Music Retailer of the Year'.
Terence Lewis, managing director and co-owner
The company is now owned by Stefan Freymuth and Terence Lewis and continues to be one of the most prominent piano houses in the UK.