- Margaret Cranmer
French firm of piano makers . It was founded in 1807 at Paris by the composer Ignace Pleyel ( see Pleyel family ). The firm quickly adopted and improved the best features of English piano making; Pape, Jean Henri helped Pleyel from 1811 to 1815 with the building of cottage pianos or ‘pianinos’, small vertically strung uprights invented by the English maker Robert Wornum (ii) which were new to France. In 1815 Ignace’s son Camille Pleyel joined the firm; 14 years later the pianist Frédéric Kalkbrenner joined too and did much to publicize Pleyel pianos. Chopin became closely associated with the firm; he made his début in Paris (26 February 1832) at the Salle Pleyel and later owned a Pleyel grand of 1839 (no.7267) with a single escapement and a light touch. Chopin said ‘when I feel in good form and strong enough to find my own individual sound, then I need a Pleyel piano’. The soundboard introduced by Pleyel in ...