Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value. Handcrafting each Steinway requires up to one full year – creating an instrument of rare quality and global renown. Not surprisingly, Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and countless pianists, composers, and performers around the world.
Steinway is dedicated to making the finest pianos in the world
Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street. Over the next thirty years, Henry and his sons, C. F. Theodore, Charles, Henry Jr., William, and Albert, developed the modern piano. They built their pianos one at a time, applying skills that were handed down from master to apprentice, generation after generation.
Each Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create. Nothing is hurried.
Today, we still build our pianos that way. Each Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create. Nothing is hurried. Even the carefully selected woods employed in the rims, tops, soundboards, and actions cure for months in our yard, kilns and conditioning rooms, until they stabilize at a rigidly specified moisture content.
Steinway is dedicated to the ideal of making the finest pianos in the world. The result is instruments renowned for their unsurpassed quality. Pianos with such superior sound and responsive touch that they enchant the most demanding pianists. And we are preferred overwhelmingly by people who share the joy of playing and owning the finest musical instrument — a joy which can be yours when you bring a Steinway into your life.
Steinway & Sons continues to handcraft its pianos only at its Astoria, New York and Hamburg, Germany factories using many of the same techniques developed by the Steinway family.
Today, both Steinway factories employ the innovative designs, attention to detail, and craftsmanship which have established the Steinway piano as the world's finest. Through our factories in Hamburg and New York, as well as our subsidiaries in Berlin, London, Tokyo, and Shanghai, customers throughout the world can experience a Steinway piano firsthand. Steinway & Sons crafts approximately 2,500 pianos a year worldwide. In an age where many piano manufacturers have outsourced the building of their pianos to areas with cheaper labor, Steinway & Sons continues to handcraft its pianos only at its Astoria, New York and Hamburg, Germany factories using many of the same techniques developed by the Steinway family.
Steinway & Sons reveres its own history — and the patents and methods that were painstakingly developed over the course of more than a century and a half. The result is, quite simply, the world's finest piano. Over 1,600 prominent concert artists and ensembles across the world bear the title Steinway Artist. No artist or ensemble is a paid endorser of the piano. Each Steinway Artist personally owns a Steinway and has chosen to perform on the Steinway piano professionally. Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world.
98% of piano soloists chose the Steinway piano during the 2013/2014 concert season.
Take a closer look at some of the great pianists that love Steinway pianos in the Steinway Artist Feature articles (link to Steinway & Sons Official Website).
Piano Buyer's Guide
Helping you find the piano that's right for you.
How a piano works
When a player's finger strikes a key, it sets the key action (a series of levers connected to a felt hammer) in motion. The hammer strikes a metal string, or a combination of metal strings, which causes them to vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted from the strings to the soundboard through bass and treble bridges, and the soundboard converts the vibrations into what is known as piano tone. It also amplifies the notes so that they can be heard. There are over 12,000 specific parts in the typical piano, all of which must function with ease and accuracy to produce the music we love.
Selecting your piano
The size of the room where the piano will be placed is an important consideration. Sound quality and volume are directly related to the size of the piano’s soundboard and the length of its strings. Therefore, the larger the piano, the better it will sound. But make no mistake: a high-quality upright is a better choice than a low-quality grand.
The major difference between an upright and a grand piano, other than looks and size, is the position of the soundboard. In a grand piano, the soundboard and strings are positioned horizontally; in an upright piano, they are positioned vertically. Thus, in a grand piano the action works with gravity and is more responsive than an upright.
Servicing your piano
Routine service is an important part of piano ownership. There are three basic steps in maintaining the sound of your piano: tuning, which brings the piano back to pitch; voicing, which affects the piano's tone; and regulation, the adjustment of the action mechanism which affects the touch of the piano.
Tuning and voicing are different aspects of adjusting the piano to its optimum standard of performance. Tuning is the adjustment of the piano's strings to the correct pitch. Voicing is the adjustment of the piano's tone or sound and is done by softening or hardening the hammers and adjusting various parts of the piano's keyboard mechanism. Regardless of its original voicing, every piano will acquire a somewhat brighter tone with time as the hammer felts become compacted the more they are struck against the strings.