STEINWAY. What is all the fuss about?
Great pianists need great pianos. This 160-year-old company in Astoria Queens breeds generations of craftspeople committed to just that vision. How does a piece of wood enter the Steinway factory in New York and become over a $100,000 masterpiece in less than one year? Let’s start here: nothing enters the Steinway factory in Astoria, Queens, looking anything like a piano. The wood, for example, is just lumber before it is shaped into the rim of the instrument. Assembling the pianos takes months, waiting between steps so that the wood can be conditioned properly. Then on to the ‘‘pounding room,’’ where a machine plays all 88 keys at once to break in the piano and expose any weaknesses. And finally, the last inspection: every piano that leaves Steinway and Son is played Wally Boot. He grew up down the street in Astoria, has worked at the factory for almost 50 years and checks every key to ensure an even tone.
‘‘There are still some things that are better done by hand.’’ – Anthony Gilroy
Steinway and Sons employs over 500 people in their New York Factory. The craftsmanship is something that a machine will never replace, which is why they are the sole American manufacturer today creating quality sound no different from the 1850s.
This magnificent seven-foot grand piano is often referred to as “the perfect piano.” When it comes to balance, beauty and power, this incredible piano has no equal. Every Steinway piano is said to have its own personality; we have sent our own Kay Clagett and Elissa Greene to Astoria in Queens, New York City, to find one that speaks to them. You can stay posted on their Steinway and Sons journey through the Strings Facebook page this upcoming week. Make sure you make it a priority to hear the Steinway Black Model D in person this summer at Strings Music Festival.