Johann Grimm

Sauter’s rich history reaches back to 1813, the composition of Beethoven’s “Battle Symphony” and the Battle of the Nations which led to the end of Napoleon’s reign.  At that time, Johann Grimm, a young carpenter from Spaigchingen, Germany, traveled to Vienna, the center of world-class music, to start as an apprentice under Nanette Stein and her husband Johann Andreas Streicher.

Johann Grimm had become a skilled carpenter but was also keenly interested in the new ideas about democracy and the value and freedom of each individual.  He formed close friendships with similar minded contemporaries including Johann Andreas Streicher.  Mr. Streicher was part of a group of outspoken idealists and a good friend of the iconic German poet Friedrich Schiller, who was at the forefront of expounding these new ideals.  In 1782, Streicher and Schiller had visited the World Premier of the Play “The Robbers”, which was written by Schiller, in Mannheim, Germany.  The play criticized the current social and political structure.  It was viewed unfavorably by the government, but made Schiller an overnight sensation, and awarded Mr. Streicher and Mr. Shiller with 14 days of imprisonment. A few years later, Johann Andreas Streicher married Nannette Stein (1769-1833) the daughter of famous piano builder Johann Andreas Stein (1697-1754).

In 1802, Streicher and his wife moved to Vienna and started the “Nanette Streicher nee Stein” piano company. Later called “Streicher Piano Company, its pianos became famed throughout Europe for its innovations and quality.  Nanette and Johann Andreas were close friends with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.  Nanette Streicher supervised Ludwig van Beethoven’s household and staff for many years.

In 1813, Johann Andreas Streicher invited Johann Grimm to join their company as a Master Apprentice.  Grimm moved to Vienna right away and helped manufacture several special ordered pianos for Ludwig van Beethoven. By 1819, the political climate in Vienna had reversed back to a more conservative government and Johann Grimm decided to leave and return to his home. He had completed his apprenticeship and in 1819 returned to Spaichingen, Germany where he founded his own piano workshop.