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The Paiste History


The Paiste Sound Story begins at the turn of the century.

Russia
1901-1916

Michail Toomas Paiste, a composer and musician, whose father had come from Estonia to serve in the Tsarist Guard, founds a publishing business and music store in St. Petersburg. The operation, which also includes modest instrument manufacturing and repair facilities, flourishes for many years until the upheavals of the Russian Revolution force its closing.

Estonia
1917-1939

Michail Toomas returns to his native country, and re-opens his business in the city of Tallinn. It is here that he begins to design and manufacture cymbals for concert and marching bands together with his son, Michail M. Paiste, who quickly becomes the driving force and eventually takes over the business. Seeking to meet the rapidly evolving demands of “modern music” and the emerging drum set, the son begins to

develop his own special concept for Turkish style cymbals, which he prefers over the Chinese style as a starting point. It is during this time that he also develops the first gongs. The resulting instruments receive awards and international recognition as they begin to be exported to Europe, the USA and overseas.

Poland
1940-1944

The events of World War II force Michail M. to leave Estonia for Poland, where he re-establishes the family business. The company struggles with a wartime shortage of raw materials and difficulty in maintaining international relations, but manages to survive.

Germany
1945-

Towards the end of the war, Michail M. and his family escaped Poland as refugees, bringing him to Northern Germany where, for the third time, he begins to produce cymbals and gongs. The instruments’ superior reputation help revive business relationships and ensure development of a robust export business throughout the Fifties.




Switzerland
1957-

Michael M. establishes a manufacture in Switzerland, also bringing a third generation, sons Robert and Toomas, into what becomes the companies base for future development. A new era begins as Robert and Toomas make Paiste Switzerland the hub of its international business activities. Since 2003, the company is headed by Toomas’ son, Erik.

USA
1981-

The company gains a firm foothold in the world’s largest musical instrument market with the establishment of Paiste America in the U.S.A..
Michail PaisteMichail Toomas Paiste

Toomas PaisteToomas Paiste

Erik PaisteErik Paiste


Michail M. PaisteMichail M. Paiste

Robert PaisteRobert Paiste
The Paiste Philosophy
Continually create new sound with cymbals, gongs and percussion instruments.
Paiste Cymbal Production
Take a tour of our Swiss Cymbal Production.
The Paiste Product Innovations
Read more about Paiste's product innovations.
The Paiste History
Learn more about the remarkable Paiste History.
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