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Roosevelt, where it continues to be used for official functions. The Second World War proved problematic for the company. Production in America fell when the Queens factory was used to build gliders, while in Hamburg the factory was commandeered by the Nazis then bombed by the Allies. Its reconstruction after the war was supported by the Marshall Plan. The family’s ownership of Steinway & Sons ended in 1972 when Heinrich’s great-grandson Henry Z Steinway sold the company to CBS. They oversaw an era of rapid staff turnover that briefly compromised the brand’s high standards of workmanship. Steinway changed hands again in 1985 and 1995 before returning to private ownership in 2013, when it was acquired by the amateur pianist and hedge fund mogul John Paulson.

Steinway launched their mid-priced Boston brand in 1992, followed by the entry-level Essex brand in 2001. Both lines are engineered in New York but built in Japan and China respectively. In 2015, Steinway & Sons unveiled their 600,000th instrument with a stunning ‘Fibonacci’ art case designed by master artisan Frank Pollaro. That year also saw the launch of the self-playing Spirio piano, which has recently been upgraded with recording functionality, reflecting the company’s renewed focus on technology and innovation.

CURRENT INSTRUMENTS Acoustic pianos The Steinway sound is the quintessential sound of the modern grand piano – a mix of power, warmth, richness and colour. Several key design features contribute to these qualities. Most important of all is the Steinway diaphragmatic soundboard, which is thickest in the middle and tapers towards the edges. This reduces the energy needed for the soundboard to vibrate, facilitating great variety of tone. The one-piece continuous bent rim of Steinway grands similarly contributes to their brilliance, particularly in the upper register. Steinway models D, B and A also feature a treble bell that enhances resonance at the top end of the keyboard.

Steinway exclusively produces acoustic pianos across its three brands – Steinway & Sons, Boston and Essex. The range of models available varies slightly according to their place of manufacture and sale. The Steinway & Sons Hamburg catalogue includes seven grand pianos and two uprights, with the materials and workmanship of the uprights in the same league as the grands. Pricing of these premium instruments is available on request.

WHAT ARTISTS SAY ‘A Steinway is a Steinway and there is nothing like it in the world’ Arthur Rubinstein (1887-1982)

‘If I am to play my best, there is no way but Steinway’ Lang Lang (b 1982)

Art cases are another specialty of Steinway. Options include veneers in exotic woods, special collections and limited-edition instruments by top designers such as Lenny Kravitz and Dakota Jackson.

Steinway & Sons Hamburg grand pianos Model Length cm Weight kgs Model D 274 480 Model C 227 425 Model B 211 345 Model A 188 315 Model O 180 280 Model M 170 275 Model S 155 252 Steinway & Sons Hamburg upright pianos Model Height cm Weight kgs K-132 132 295 V-125 125 274

Spirio r Steinway’s Spirio r is a high-resolution player piano that offers live performance capture and playback. Recordings can be made using Spirio’s high-resolution file format as well as MIDI and MP3, supported by a dedicated app for post-production editing. Users can also access the Spirio library containing over 130 hours of high-resolution repertoire recorded by Steinway Artists past and present – including historic performances by the likes of Horowitz, Cortot, Gilels, Gould and Arrau. The system is currently available for Steinway models D and B.

Visit the Steinway & Sons YouTube channel for performances, artist interviews and more: UCdVvVgEV7T4UhiUDE7icMDQ

International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories 67

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