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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 9, No. 8

The Prestigious Steinway

by Jean-Sébastien Gascon / May 10, 2004

Version française...

Steinway has always strived to redefine their pianos, as much through technological development as through the designs it patented with help from famous artists and fashion designers. Its strategy of community involvement and marketing (going so far as to provide pianos to GIs during the war) has made Steinway the most famous piano manufacturer in the world.

In 1850, Henry Steinway (1797-1871) arrived in New York and was hired with his sons by a piano manufacturer. Three years later, during a strike at Bacon & Raven where he was employed, he and his sons founded the company that would become one of the most important piano manufacturers in the world. Last year Steinway and Sons celebrated their 150th anniversary.

5 Important dates

1853 Foundation of Steinway

1867 Steinway unveiled its first one-piece steel-frame piano. The new frame was able to support the enormous tension put on the instrument from the longer bass strings, which produced more sound and resonance.

1878 Steinway developed and patented a method of shaping the interior and exterior of the belt of the piano. Moulding from one piece of wood created the shape of the modern instrument.

1880 Opening of the Hamburg factory

2003 Steinway & Sons celebrated its 150th anniversary. Some 563,000 handmade pianos had been produce.

Some statistics

Years of production: 151

Number of pianos made: 563,000

Annual production: 5000 pianos

Number of manufacturing plants: one in Manhattan (USA) and one in Hamburg (Germany)

[Translation: Anna Sampson]

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