Chris Maene was born in 1953 and learned all about becoming an instrument maker in the workshop of his parents, Albert Maene and Zulma Doutreloigne, in Ruiselede, Belgium. At the age of 16, he built his first harpsichord and when he turned 21, he built a copy of a 1794 Dulcken fortepiano. The exceptional interest that Chris Maene has in harpsichords, fortepianos and modern pianos, is remarkable for an instrument maker these days. All three influenced one another and resulted in a uniquely versatile and extensive set of skills and knowledge. These, in their turn, laid the foundation of Mr. Maene’s present workshop where he is assisted by specialised craftsmen – each with his own skills – to manufacture and restore an ever expanding array of harpsichords, fortepianos and modern grands.
For more than 40 years, Chris Maene has been in the business and he has been able to build a lot of different instruments. His historical instruments are sought after by private persons, professional pianists, academies, conservatories,… both in Belgium and abroad. Some of his realizations stand out. In 2004, in a unique opportunity, Chris Maene was given the permission by Steinway & Sons to study the first Engelhard Steinweg fortepiano (Seesen, 1836). From 2006 until 2008 four replicas were built of this instrument. In 2010, Chris Maene introduced a replica of a Pleyel concert grand from 1843 and in 2013, he built a copy of Beethoven’s Broadwood pianoforte from 1817. In 2015, Chris Maene took up a new challenge. He questioned the crossed stringing modern concert grand, 150 years after the concept of crossed stringing was introduced. Since then Chris Maene is building the Chris Maene Straight Strung Concert Grand, a modern straight strung concert grand, originally made for Daniel Barenboim as the Barenboim Concert Grand.
Chris Maene is not only active as an instrument maker, but is also owner and Managing Director of Piano’s Maene N.V. Together with his two sons, Dominique and Frederic, he owns the family company that was founded by his parents in 1938. Every day, more than 95 employees turn their passion for pianos into practice in the six branches in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Lanaken, Alkmaar (NL) and Ruiselede. In 2010, Chris Maene was honoured as a citizen of Ruiselede. In 2014, Piano’s Maene was granted a Royal Warrant to the Belgian Royal House, a pinnacle of a many years’ cooperation.
The passion that comes from Chris Maene for keyboard instruments, matches with his professional craft and know-how, pride, emotion, tradition and boundless respect for music.
Chris Maene Collection B.V.
Aalterstraat 4 - 8755 Ruiselede
TEL +32 51 68 64 37