“To build the best piano possible” — Henry E. Steinway
This year marks Steinway & Sons 170th anniversary.
As we commemorate this momentous occasion, let us delve into the rich history, remarkable achievements, and enduring impact of founder Henry E. Steinway through the voice of homegrown actor, Adrian Pang.
In the video, Adrian Pang reads from a letter that Henry Steinway wrote to his 10th and youngest child, Julianne Steinway, who died in infancy. It is a fictionalized but heartfelt message based on Steinway history and the life of Henry Steinway.
life story of HENRY E. STEINWAY
Steinway & Sons first piano dubbed “The Kitchen Piano”
Founding and Early Years
Steinway & Sons was founded by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in New York City. His commitment to quality and innovation set the stage for the company’s extraordinary journey. Steinway’s earliest pianos quickly gained a reputation for their exceptional sound and build, setting a new standard in the piano industry. By 1857, the company had already won its first gold medal at the American Institute Fair in New York for excellence in piano manufacturing.
Innovation and Advancements
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Steinway & Sons continued to innovate and refine its piano designs. Notably, the introduction of cross-stringing and an overstrung scale design allowed for longer strings and greater resonance, contributing to the distinct Steinway sound. The company’s relentless pursuit of perfection extended to every facet of piano production, resulting in instruments celebrated for their responsiveness, tonal depth, and unparalleled touch.
First Steinway Artist Anthony Rubenstein
Artistry and Cultural Impact
Steinway pianos became synonymous with musical artistry, gracing the stages of prestigious concert halls, music studios, and private residences around the world. Renowned artists, from classical maestros like Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Rubinstein to contemporary icons like Billy Joel and Lang Lang, have chosen Steinway pianos to bring their musical visions to life. The “Steinway Artist” title is a badge of honor for pianists, signifying a partnership with an instrument that has become inseparable from musical excellence.
Preserving the Craftsmanship
Central to Steinway & Sons’ legacy is the commitment to preserving its traditional craftsmanship. The company’s pianos are still meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans who have inherited generations of knowledge. Each piano is a testament to the harmonious blend of time-honored techniques and modern precision, creating an instrument that remains an embodiment of musical excellence.
Steinway’s first factory on Fourth Avenue (No. 82-No. 88, Walker Street)
A Harmonious Future
Steinway & Sons’ history is an odyssey of innovation, artistry, and dedication. From its humble beginnings to its global prominence, the company’s commitment to creating instruments of unmatched quality has stood the test of time. As technology and musical tastes evolve, Steinway & Sons continues to harmonize tradition with progress, ensuring that its legacy resonates for generations to come. In an ever-changing world, the Steinway piano remains a timeless bridge between the past, present, and future of musical expression.