Online Piano Atlas
Charles R. Walter, the founder of Charles R. Walter piano company passed away
May 29, 2019
Charles R. Walter, a pillar in the piano business for nearly 60 years, passed away on Friday. He was 92. He's left a great legacy behind.
The story of Walter Piano Company is the story of a man and his family. Born in 1927, Charles R. Walter grew up in the rural American setting of Watseka, Illinois. His early life was that of a baker's son, but young Charles soon showed interest in things technical and scientific.
In 1947 Charles entered the University of Illinois. Four years later he graduated from the School of Engineering Physics with a Bachelor's Degree and a new bride at his side, the former Barbara McCullough also of Watseka, Illinois.
In 1964 Mr. Walter joined C.G. Conn, Ltd. and three years later was appointed Head of Piano Design and Development Engineering under Dr. Earle Kent, Director of Research and Engineering. Dr. Kent saw in Charles a man well-qualified in engineering and science but not indoctrinated into the usual and traditional approaches to piano design.
During the years at Conn (1964 to 1969), Mr. Walter began to assimilate his engineering background, talents, and experience with the peculiar demands of piano acoustical design. In 1969, when Conn decided to discontinue their Janssen piano division, Charles and his wife were quick to pursue the opportunity to fulfill a growing dream - the dream to build an all new console and studio piano of the very finest sound and quality.
During the following few years, Mr. Walter continued to produce Janssen pianos of recognized quality. Then, in 1975, he introduced the 43" Charles R. Walter Piano to the keyboard market. In the years to follow, Charles R. Walter pianos grew in popularity as their quality and sound became more widely recognized.