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Steinway & Sons – How They Came to Be the Best

21 Jul 2017

In 1853, German immigrant Henry E. STEINWAY founded STEINWAY & SONS in New York City with the goal of building the best piano possible. In the pursuit of that goal, he developed the unparalleled Steinway piano and built a legacy that stands as one of the greatest American success stories.

Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg completed his first forte piano secretly in the kitchen of his house in Germany. In 1850, he immigrated to America with his sons in order to pursue a passion for tonal excellence and create a more perfect piano. Three years later, he became Henry E. Steinway and founded STEINWAY & SONS.

Before there was Carnegie Hall, there was STEINWAY Hall. In 1866, STEINWAY Hall was the premier concert venue in New York City. It was home to the New York Philharmonic for over 25 years. STEINWAY Hall created such strong marketing success for STEINWAY pianos that competing manufacturers built their own concert halls in failed attempts to take away from the famous piano artists and concertgoers attracted to the STEINWAY venue. STEINWAY Hall continues to build its legacy at its newfound location.

As a result, STEINWAY pianos have become a staple point throughout U.S. culture and history. In 1938, the 300,000th STEINWAY piano was presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the STEINWAY family. The piano was meant to replace the 100,000th STEINWAY piano gifted to the White House in 1903. Mr. Theodore STEINWAY had the piano specially crafted with the gold leaf decoration representing the five musical forms indigenous of America. It was sculpted with gilded mahogany legs carved as American eagles to truly embody the American spirit.

Between 1941 and 1953, STEINWAY & SONS parachuted an estimated 3,000 specially designed “Victory Vertical” pianos to American soldiers fighting abroad in World War II. The soldiers would gather around the STEINWAY and sing popular American tunes reminding them of home. This not only united them but further lifted their spirits during the war.
Throughout American history, the STEINWAY name has woven itself into the hearts of the American people through its dedication to high quality. Today, it has become a centre for music and culture, and provides an outlet for all creative minds.

Just as founder Henry E. STEINWAY integrated himself into American culture, so has the STEINWAY name become a founding factor in establishing American patriotism. STEINWAYpianos have served as comfort during times of hardship, and entertainment in times of need. STEINWAY & SONS breathes red, white, and blue, from the initial craftsmanship of the piano’s rim to its final polish before departure from our factory in New York.

A century and a half later, the STEINWAY is still handcrafted with pride in the U.S.A.

(Article accredited and adapted from Steinway & Sons, 2017)


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