Friday, December 25, 2015

The history of Steinway pianos

From CBS:

Each instrument is hand-carved and hand-strung, much as they were when Steinway & Sons first opened its doors.

A carpenter by trade and self-taught piano-maker, Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg moved his family from Germany to New York City in 1850.

Changing the family name to the more English-sounding "Steinway," he and his three sons started producing hundreds of pianos. The company hit a high note in 1866 when it opened a European-style concert hall in Manhattan, which quickly became a cultural center (and a place to showcase Steinway pianos).

After winning accolades all over the world for their craftsmanship and engineering, everyone, it seemed, wanted to get their hands on a Steinway.


JQ LLC said...

I have yet to see a story on the mansion on our lapdog local news media. CBS could have done 40 seconds showing an old drawing of it and a clip of what it looks like today.

But that would mean sacrificing star wars and other celebrity related news. Or more likely on the current hot neighborhood concern

William Steinway said...

It seems that the workers wore 'strike' tee-shirts ticking off the top brass during this documentary's filming. Rumors are running around the factory about the company's future and their continued presence in Astoria - and everyone's long term job security. Things like that happen when you can literally look up from making a piano and see the mansion getting hacked up.

Things don't look good if Paulson-Sweeney actually fail to pick up the mansion - and drop the ball on the new Steinway Hall, the Steinway Arts District. Like a house of cards, an angry work force could in turn throw questions publicly on the entire myth and mystique of the company and its product.

That will be their trump card with management.

If the workers continue to get restive over this, don't see how Steinway can continue to ignore the mansion much longer.

Ms. Tsouris said...

They recently sold the building that had been owned by Steinway Pianos for decades on E 57th St in Manhattan. It was their sales center, and had a magnificent interior that had the feel of what I imagined to be a grand European museum. That Steinway building must have had quite a history. I know one of their salespeople and had the privilege of having a tour of that building

(sarc) said...

You must also remember how technology marches forward.

Even the most skilled ear may not be able to tell the differences between a hand crafted Steinway and a decent digital keyboard.

I have seen many performers that have the shell of a grand piano with a digital keyboard inserted.

Simple, lightweight, easily portable, and no tuning required.

Technology moves forward. You must remember the past - NOT live in the PAST...

Anonymous said...

have seen many performers that have the shell of a grand piano with a digital keyboard inserted. Simple, lightweight, easily portable, and no tuning required.

Sure, but there are more than head bangers out there in the world of music.
Tell it to the artists and connoisseurs of real music and see how far you get.

JQ LLC said...

@ Ms. Touris,

I think it was on 111 west 57th st and it's soon to be the spot for another sun obstructing, glass predominant mile high stick, pied-e-tiere money laundering, subsidy luxe-welfare billionaire tower, unless the non-union crew tasked to build it strikes with inflatable rat in tow (I think an giant inflatable tapeworm would be more precise.

Steinway has recently taken up temp commercial space in an office building in Midtown. Frankly, it looks a brand shop in shopping mall, so I guess it seamlessly fits with atrocious banal landscape by Times Square.

And that player steinway is so cheap. But it serves the platinum bobo market well, it can be a jukebox to show off I suppose.

And this is for all with skilled ears, butter or parkay?

(sarc) said...


Did you ever think you would see the day where true wine connoisseurs would rave about a bottle with a screw cap or synthetic cork, rather than a REAL cork?

Just give it a bit more time...

Anonymous said...

Good God, compare Steinways to purveyors of Food Porn!

Mon Dieu!

Even better for them to think outside the box and go for the District. Puts everything cultural into the bag, not just piano. That'll bullet-proof 'em from anything.

Anonymous said...


Your electronic keyboard and a Steinway grand piano? Different leagues. Get serious.