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Steinway, Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853. Edison’s first recording was made in 1878. It is an understatement to say that together they have made music history. The Steinway piano was used on many of the first recordings, a New Medium, which, for the first time made music accessible to the the public. A Steinway piano is in almost every major concert hall in the world, and has been used by some of the greatest artists and composers including Arthur Rubinstein, George Gershwin, and John Lennon.
Steinway has been recently purchased by the private equity firm KKR. As the New York Times reported,
‘“There’s concern any time there’s a shift,” the pianist Gary Graffman said. “There’s no way of my knowing: will they take as much care with each piano as they have in the past?”’
It is a question that has reverberated through the music world since the $438 million deal for the company was announced last week. The offer, which came from the private equity firm Kohlberg & Company, would take Steinway private. It has been traded under the stock symbol LVB, for Ludwig van Beethoven, since Steinway went public in 1996.
HOW A STEINWAY PIANO IS MADE
Many believe that it t is the craftsmanship that gives a Steinway its unique tone and color. What is that craftsmanship? The following video shows how a Steinway Piano is made. You can go here to see all the Steinway Pianos.
As the Steinway web site says,
Each Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create. Nothing is hurried. Even the carefully selected woods employed in the rims, tops, soundboards, and actions cure for months in our yard, kilns and conditioning rooms, until they stabilize at a rigidly specified moisture content.
Again, the Steinway web site, “Steinway is dedicated to the ideal of making the finest pianos in the world. The result is instruments renowned for their unsurpassed quality. Pianos with such superior sound and responsive touch that they enchant the most demanding pianists.” Speaking of which, view this clip of Arthur Rubinstein.
Only time will tell as to Steinway’s future. Having recently celebrated its 160th anniversary, it is hoped that Steinway and its quality will endure for at least another 160 years. Oh yes, it even comes in blue.