Portrait: Steinway & Sons, manufacturer of grand pianos and pianos

Friday, 29 July 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Hamburg, New York City, Portrait
Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Steinway & Sons

© Steinway & Sons

Steinway & Sons, also known as Steinway, is an American and German piano company, founded in 1853 in Manhattan, New York City, by German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later known as Henry E. Steinway). The company’s growth led to the opening of a factory in Queens, New York City, and a factory in Hamburg, Germany. The factory in Queens supplies the Americas and the factory in Hamburg supplies the rest of the world. Steinway has been described as a prominent piano company, known for making pianos of high quality and for inventions within the area of piano development. Steinway has been granted 126 patents in piano making; the first in 1857. The company’s share of the high-end grand piano market consistently exceeds 80 percent. The company’s dominant position in the high-end piano market has been criticized, with some musicians and writers arguing that it has blocked innovation and led to a homogenization of the sound favored by pianists.

Steinway pianos have received numerous awards. One of the first is a gold medal won in 1855 at the American Institute Fair at the New York Crystal Palace. From 1855 to 1862, Steinway pianos received 35 gold medals. Several awards and recognitions followed, including 3 medals at the International Exposition of 1867 in Paris. The company holds a royal warrant of appointment to Queen Elizabeth II. Steinway pianos are made at the factories in Hamburg and Queens. In addition to the flagship Steinway piano line, Steinway markets two less expensive brands of piano sold under the secondary brand names Boston and Essex. The Boston brand is for the mid-level market and the Essex brand is for the entry-level market. Boston and Essex pianos are designed by Steinway engineers and produced in Asia at other piano makers’ factories under the supervision of Steinway employees to utilize a lower cost of part production and labor.

Richard Wagner's Steinway grand piano © JosefLehmkuhl/cc-by-sa-3.0 Steinway Hall in New York City © flickr.com - Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0 Keyboard of a grand piano © Fanoftheworld © Steinway & Sons Steinway Hall in London © Pianoplonkers/cc-by-3.0
<
>
Richard Wagner's Steinway grand piano © JosefLehmkuhl/cc-by-sa-3.0
In 1988, Steinway made its 500,000th piano. The piano was designed by artist Wendell Castle. The names of the 832 pianists and 90 ensembles on the Steinway Artist roster of 1987 are written on the piano, including Van Cliburn, Vladimir Horowitz, and Billy Joel.

In 1994, Steinway opened the C.F. Theodore Steinway School for Concert Technicians, also known as the Steinway Academy; the world’s first academy for concert technicians worldwide. Georges Ammann, concert technician with Steinway’s factory in Hamburg, Germany, said, “We were getting a lot of complaints from pianists all over the world – they said that getting their pianos tuned was a disastrous process every time and that the local technicians were hopeless. The artists kept begging us to do something about this … From that perspective, it was clear that an institution like the Steinway Academy was a necessity.” The Steinway Academy provides professional concert technicians with a two-week intensive course.

By the year 2000, the company updated and expanded production of its two other brands, Boston and Essex pianos, in addition to the flagship Steinway & Sons. More Steinway Halls and Steinway Piano Galleries opened across the world, mainly in China, Japan and Korea.

In 2003, Steinway celebrated its 150th anniversary at Carnegie Hall with a three-day concert series with performances by Peter Cincotti, Art Garfunkel, Herbie Hancock, Ben Heppner, Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, Randy Newman, Roger Williams, Nancy Wilson, and Eroica Trio, among others. The first concert featured classical music, the second jazz, and the third pop. As part of the 150th anniversary, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld created a commemorative Steinway limited edition grand piano.

In 2005, Steinway celebrated the 125th anniversary of the establishment of its factory in Hamburg, Germany. The celebration featured a concert at the Laeiszhalle concert hall in Hamburg with performances by Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy, Lang Lang, and Detlef Kraus. 1,800 people from 33 countries attended the concert. As part of the celebration, a 125th anniversary Steinway limited edition grand piano was designed by Count Albrecht von Goertz.

Until his death on September 18, 2008 at the age of 93, Henry Z. Steinway, the great-grandson of the Steinway founder, still worked for Steinway and put his signature on custom-made limited edition pianos. At several public occasions, Henry Z. Steinway represented the Steinway family. He started at the company in 1937 after graduating from Harvard University. He was president of the company from 1955 to 1977 and was the last Steinway family member to be president of Steinway.

After the 2008 economic downturn, Steinway grand piano sales fell by half and 30 percent of the union employees were laid off from the Queens factory between August 2008 and November 2009. Sales were down 21 percent in 2009 in the United States. As of 2010, sales began increasing a little and in 2011 sales increased further.

In June 2013, private equity firm Kohlberg & Company offered to buy Steinway parent company Steinway Musical Instruments for $438 million. On August 14, 2013, hedge fund Paulson & Co. made a higher offer of $512 million to take the company private; the Steinway Musical Instruments board recommended that shareholders accept it. In September 2013, Paulson & Co. announced the completion of the acquisition.

In 2015, Steinway made its 600,000th piano. The piano features the Fibonacci spiral and Macassar ebony veneer. It took 6,000 hours of work over 4 years to make the piano. It was priced at $2.4 million.

Read more on Steinway & Sons and Wikipedia Steinway & Sons (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht

Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht

[caption id="attachment_235447" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Mycosm93[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Rietveld Schröder House (Dutch: Rietveld Schröderhuis) (also known as the Schröder House) in Utrecht (Prins Hendriklaan 50) was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld for Mrs. Truus Schröder-Schräder and her three children. She commissioned the house to be designed preferably without walls. Both Rietveld and Schröder espoused progressive ideals that included "a fierce commitment to a new openness abo...

[ read more ]

The Brunswick Palace

The Brunswick Palace

[caption id="attachment_23668" align="alignleft" width="590"] Brunswick Palace © wingsch.net[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Brunswick Palace (German: Braunschweiger Schloss or Braunschweiger Residenzschloss) on the Bohlweg in the centre of the city of Brunswick (German: Braunschweig), was the residence of the Brunswick dukes from 1753 to 8 November 1918. The rebuilt palace houses on 13,300 sqm the city library, city archives, city culture management, city culture institute and the Palace Museum. The building complex has a to...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Algarve

Theme Week Algarve

[caption id="attachment_152685" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Beach of Carvoeiro © Haloorange[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Algarve is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal. It has an area of 5,412 square kilometres (2,090 sq mi) with approximately 450,484 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region coincides with the Faro District, and has as its administrative centre the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport at Faro (FAO) and public university (the University of the Al...

[ read more ]

Ascension Island

Ascension Island

[caption id="attachment_231497" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Royal Marine barracks in former Royal Dockland in Georgetown © JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 7°56′ south of the Equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the coast of Africa and 1,400 miles (2,300 km) from the coast of South America. It is governed as part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, of which t...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Belarus

Theme Week Belarus

[caption id="attachment_228620" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Victory Square in Minsk © Mikkalai[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) and with a population of 9.3 million, Belarus is the 13th-largest and the 20th-most populous country in Europe. The count...

[ read more ]

Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich

Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich

[caption id="attachment_27494" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Hotel Bayerischer Hof © Mattes[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Bayerischer Hof on Promenadeplatz in the northwestern part of Munich is a five-star Grand Hotel. Built in 1841, it remains a destination for celebrities and guests of state in Munich. The hotel was erected in 1841 on behalf of Joseph Anton von Maffei according to plans by Friedrich von Gärtner. It initially had about 100 rooms and two halls. Some of its renowned guests included Empress Elisabeth of Austr...

[ read more ]

Grand Canal in Ireland

Grand Canal in Ireland

[caption id="attachment_221690" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Grand Canal Dock in Dublin © Giuseppe Milo/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Grand Canal (Irish: An Chanáil Mhór) is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin's inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the Royal Canal. The last working cargo barge passed through the Gra...

[ read more ]

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

[caption id="attachment_25625" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Notre Dame de Paris © flickr.com - Bertrand/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"](latest update: 25 January 2024) Notre-Dame de Paris (French for "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most ...

[ read more ]

The Regal Princess

The Regal Princess

[caption id="attachment_225244" align="aligncenter" width="590"] in Warnemünde, Germany © Bahnfrend/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Regal Princess is a Royal-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, and is the second ship to sail for the cruise line under this name. Regal Princess, as well as her sister ship Royal Princess, were ordered on 17 February 2010 from Fincantieri and were constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and debuted in 2014. Homepo...

[ read more ]

Riace in Calabria

Riace in Calabria

[caption id="attachment_151176" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Riace © Marcuscalabresus/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Riace is a municipality in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region Calabria, located about 50 km south of Catanzaro and about 80 km northeast of Reggio Calabria. Riace borders the municipalities of Camini and Stignano. It is especially famous as the site in which, in 1972, the famous Bronzi di Riace (Riace bronzes), Greek bronze statues of warriors (now in the Museo Nazionale della ...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© صادق1605413/cc-by-sa-3.0
Theme Week Iran – Birjand

Birjand is the east Iranian provincial capital of South Khorasan and the centre of the county Birjand resp. Quhestan, known...

Ahvaz Bridge over Karun River © Arad M./cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week Iran – Ahvaz

Ahvaz is a city in the southwest of Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 1,100,000 and its built-up...

© Moshe David/cc-by-2.5
Beersheba, capital of the Negev

Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the...

Schließen