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 Developmental 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.
With his wife by his side, the early days were filled with sweat and
long hours, yet God gave the strength. A family was growing up in the
piano factory! Kevin Charles, thirteen years old and the only son amidst
three sisters, was receiving a steady diet of love, Christian faith,
and pianos! From floor sweeping, to stringing, to finishing, to final
inspection, Kevin learned the art and science of building fine pianos.
Since then, two sons-in-law have joined the company: Richard A. Counsellor,
a graduate engineer of LeTourneau College and Virgil W. Wesco, a graduate
engineer and business masters graduate of Purdue University. A growing
number of grandchildren are now joining the ranks of those who have a
very “personal” interest in the Charles R. Walter piano.
The Charles R. Walter piano incorporates the finest and most advanced
design that technology can provide. Mr. Walter developed the W-48 scale
using the Notre Dame computer facilities. Careful attention was given
to full bass performance through the use of long strings and a large
solid spruce soundboard. Extensive work in scale design has provided
smooth sound continuity across the keyboard, a singing treble, and smooth
The piano has become so well recognized for its design superiority that
Mr. Walter has become a frequently requested speaker on the topic of
piano design and construction at piano technician seminars and state
conventions throughout the United States.
Among modern pianos, the Charles R. Walter is unique for its superb
blend of that which is the most advanced in modern technology and that
which is the finest in the old world craftsmanship.
Click here for more information on Charles R. Walter Pianos.