Steinway is perhaps the most recognizable name in piano production. The company is known for uncompromising standards in design and manufacture, making it a favorite among big-name musicians around the world.
German piano builder Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, who later went by Henry E. Steinway, opened Steinway and Sons in Manhattan, New York in 1853, followed shortly thereafter by large production facilities in Queens, New York and Hamburg, Germany. Dedicated to design innovation, the company received its first patent in 1857 and would eventually hold 125 patents.
Henry Steinway’s dream was to create a company that manufactured the world’s best pianos. He made that dream come true, then followed it by producing lower-cost pianos that brought music into the homes of everyday people.
The company’s flagship piano, the Steinway Model D, is considered the world standard by which other pianos are judged. Jazz pianist George Gershwin was a famous Steinway fan, along with Duke Ellington, Arthur Rubenstein, Billy Joel, Harry Connick, Jr., and many others.
Steinway divides its pianos into three main brands: Steinway, Boston, and Essex, plus a new player piano line called Spirio that works with an iPad.
Grands: Steinway grand pianos are iconic. They produce a rich, bold sound that piano experts can immediately identify by ear. The company’s research shows that 19 out of 20 concert pianists prefer to play Steinway grands.
Uprights: Steinway’s mission for uprights is to produce a sound that is identical to a Steinway grand piano in every respect, indistinguishable by even a highly-attuned ear. The only difference is the vertical cabinet.
Special Collections: The company is known for pianos with unusual color combinations and hardware. Examples include the all-silver Sterling Steinway and the red Pops Steinway.
Limited Editions: Steinway has produced many limited-edition pianos that stand alone as works of art or travel as custom performance pieces for world-famous musicians.
The Boston line was developed as a response to the high prices of Steinway pianos. It puts the Steinway name within reach of many more piano players.
Boston Grands: A lower price doesn’t mean lower quality. Boston grand pianos are made with the company’s famous attention to detail, incorporating the same patented designs they use on their best Steinway grands.
Boston Uprights: In the same way that a Steinway upright sounds indistinguishable from a Steinway grand, a Boston upright matches the Boston grand in sound. It simply has a lower price that’s more attainable for most people.
Steinway’s Essex pianos are made to welcome beginning players, teachers, hobbyists, home musicians, and others who are not necessarily professional-level players – but still want Steinway quality.
Essex Grands: Steinway advertises this piano as a perfect entry into the Steinway family of grand pianos. Even an amateur player can get an amazing sound from it.
Essex Uprights: These pianos are perfect for homes and sturdy enough for public spaces. They come in a variety of styles and finishes to ensure that anyone, at any price or skill level, can play a Steinway.
New to Steinway’s lineup is the Spirio, called “the world’s finest high-resolution player piano.” It redefines the player piano as a tech-infused hybrid between a traditional grand piano and an iPad controller. Spirio brings piano performances from around the world into your living room.
Steinway worked with tech developers to ensure that the sound heard from the Spirio is absolutely indistinguishable from the actual, live performance given by the original pianist. When not used as a player piano, the Spirio can be played just like any other Steinway.