When we sell a piano from a special collection, it’s as if a child has left, says Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová

photo: courtesy of Petrof

Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová is a representative of the fifth generation of the Petrof family, backed by the world-famous company PETROF, which manufactures pianos. Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová builds on the legacy of her ancestors and celebrates unprecedented successes. Her biggest awards include the title of Manager of the Year and her regular placement among the most influential women in the Czech Republic, Forbes magazine.

What makes your professional life special for you personally? What do you love about your job?

We sell pianos all over the world and we have our partners almost everywhere. I like to visit them, I love traveling, learning about new cultures and especially tasting local specialties. That’s the nice thing about our profession.

What are the characteristics of the best pianos and the best pianists? Can the right musical instrument influence the level of musical talent?

The best pianos must be made of the highest quality materials and the best pianos. They must have a beautiful balanced sound and should last for decades if you take good care of them. Above all, the best pianists should be able to captivate the audience. It is difficult when talented students have to play the wrong musical instruments. It’s hard work, but I don’t think it affects the level of talent.

photo: courtesy of Petrof

What pieces from your exclusive production are you most proud of?

I like all pianos from our special collection because the best people make them and they are given the maximum care. They always have a unique design and great sound. When we sell them, it’s like a child has left.

How do you plan to further develop the company’s success?

We are currently working on streamlining production, digitizing some processes, in short, innovation. In marketing, our activities are focused primarily on the young generation. We are filming the PETROF Acoustic Sessions series, in which it is possible to listen to well-known compositions by popular artists in a non-traditional, acoustic design. Michal Horák, Laco Deczi, the group Poetika, Štěpán Kozub and Michal Hrůza have already been with us. Other artists, including foreign ones, are going to come to film us, so there is definitely something to look forward to. We publish all videos on our YouTube. Another large completed project was the launch of the PETROF e-shop, where we offer instrument accessories (chairs, wheel mats, pedal adapter, special cleaning agents for piano finishes, keyboard blankets, etc.) as well as fashion and home accessories with music and piano. motives. We plan to further expand the e-shop offer. PETROF Design and strengthening of this division was and is our next challenge – in addition to pianos and grand pianos, we also create other beautiful and useful products, such as acoustic panels for large halls, luxury interiors, humidors, cassettes for anything in high gloss and similarly.

photo: courtesy of Petrof

As a woman with an artistic feeling, what is your relationship to art as a whole? And what is your relationship to fashion and personal style of dress? For example, do you have a favorite brand or designer?

I like music. It doesn’t matter if the genre is well and interestingly played. Clothes complete the personality, I like fashion, I love black and white combination. I like to combine clothes, sets are grateful. I have some nice pieces from Klára Nademlýnská, Helena Bedrnová, Blanka Matragi. Otherwise, I have a great seamstress who sews anything.

What makes Czechs unique in the world of music?

As it is often said, what a Czech is, a musician – almost everyone in our country plays an instrument or at least played in the past. I am proud that many of our artists are world-class. Speaking of significant achievements by artists from our free association PETROF Art Family, just by chance: fourteen-year-old pianist Honzík Schulmeister wins one international competition after another. A native of Hradec Králové, Matyáš Novák, gave a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York at the age of just 19 and toured with us on two very successful tours throughout China, and the Chinese audience loved him. Furthermore, for example, Ivo Kahánek won the prestigious BBC Music Magazine Awards last year. There are many successes.

photo: courtesy of Petrof

How is it in this specific industry with employees? Is there a lot or a little skilled workforce?

Skills are woefully waning, we must educate our fellow employees ourselves. It takes 10 years of experience to become a true pianist.

What helped you the most to establish yourself as a woman in the world of “heavy” business? On the contrary, what was the biggest complication for you?

Somehow I never felt that it would be harder for me to enforce because I am a woman. I believe that it is always important to surround yourself with the right and capable people and colleagues, regardless of their gender. That is the basis of success.

photo: courtesy of Petrof

What are the advantages and disadvantages of family business?

Having a family business is a huge commitment. The advantage is that we can still work, but the disadvantage is that we can still work.

When you look at the long history of your company, which has a long tradition in our country, is the Covid-19 epidemic the worst thing you have ever had to deal with, or has the company experienced worse times? How did you deal with them and the pandemic?

During the period of our business, which will soon be 160 years, we have gone through good and bad periods. We always managed, and COVID was no exception.

photo: courtesy of Petrof


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