Benefactors and Executive Board

In late 2012, two companies (C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG and Kuthe GmbH, represented by Stefan Freymuth) and two private benefactors (Berenice Küpper and Karl Schulze) joined forces to found the non-profit Carl Bechstein Foundation.

Stefan Freymuth
Berenice Küpper and Karl Schulze

Those at the origin of the Carl Bechstein Foundation have enjoyed ties with Bechstein for a number of years. As members of the Executive Board, they are also directly involved in the foundation’s management.

Karl Schulze, former CEO of C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG and one of the original benefactors of the Foundation, is the chairman of the Executive Board. A salesman and master piano-maker born in 1948, he had already been an independent businessman since 1974, before he acquired C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG in 1986 and restructured the company over the years, reviving its high standing in the piano world. He remained the company’s CEO for more than three decades.

Stefan Freymuth, vice-chairman of the Foundation’s Executive Board, also belongs to the original benefactors. He has a degree in engineering and is both managing director of Kuthe GmbH and a member of C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG’s Supervisory Board. Having played on a Bechstein when he was young, his passion for the brand has deep roots.

Berenice Küpper is a pianist, musicologist, piano teacher, japanologist and cultural manager who had been marketing manager at C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG for 25 years.

Gregor Willmes, who has contributed to the development of the Carl Bechstein Foundation as a project manager from the very beginning, joined the Executive Board in 2017. An author of articles on music since 1989, he is also the Cultural Manager of C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik AG.