The Broadwood piano company is a direct descendant of the workshop of the famous harpsichord builder of the 18th century, Burkat Shudi. Trained by Tabel, who himself trained with the incomparable Ruckers harpsichord building family, Shudi opened his workshop in 1728. Among those who purchased Shudi harpsichords were Handel and the Prince of Wales.
John Broadwood, a Scottish carpenter, married Shudi's daughter and trained in the Shudi workshop. By 1773, Broadwood and Shudi's son were full partners in the business. Broadwood experimented with making square pianos very early on. By 1777, along with Americus Backer and Robert Stodart, Broadwood had developed one of the earliest grand pianos. By 1795, the company became "John Broadwood & Son". The last harpsichords had been made two years earlier.
Among the highest esteemed pianos in the world, Broadwoods were found with Haydn, Beethoven, and in the finest palaces. Broadwood's English Action was in direct competition with the Viennese type of action. In 1886, Liszt played a Broadwood grand on his last visit to London. Still in business today, Broadwood supplies the instruments to the royal family of England.