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|Steinway pianos are high quality expensive pianos that are highly sought after. They were
first made in 1853 by Heinrich Steinway in New York City. The pianos were handmade from the best materials. His first rule to
making these pianos was making them to standard not to price. His second rule was to make no compromise in quality and
his third was to always try to improve the Steinway piano.
Steinway's first piano was given the number of 483 because he had made 482 pianos in Germany before moving to the United States. This first Steinway was sold for $500.00 and can be found today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Demand for the pianos increased to the point that Steinway had to move his workshop to a larger building. By the 1860's his factory was building 1,800 pianos a year.
Steinway pianos are of such good quality that they won several awards in New York, Paris and London. By the later end of the 1870's Steinway employees had their own company town called the Steinway village. It had its own post office, parks and housing.
In 1857 Steinway had pianos designed by well know artists. These Steinway's can bring in high prices today. These designed pianos are still being made today. The 500,000th piano was designed by Wendall Castles. Several music artists signed it including Valdimir and Elton John. Not surprising this piano was named the grand of the artists. In 1938 the 300,000th piano was give as a gift to the White House. It is still there today.
During the Great Depression Steinway produced only 1000 pianos a year but they were able to keep going and demand soon rose again. Finally in 1972 Steinway was sold to CBS. CBS sold it in 1985 to some Boston area investors. They still own it today.
In 1994 trouble arose from the inability of piano tuners to property tune the Steinway. To fix the problem Steinway opened its first school for piano technicians known as the Steinway Academy. This special course lasts for two weeks and trains the piano technicians how to tune and repair concert Steinway pianos. This school is hard to get into and the student must be already experienced in piano tuning. After finishing the course the students could now call themselves the prestigious title of "Steinway trained concert technicians."
Until he died in 2002 Henry Z. Steinway who was the great grandson of the original Heinrich Steinway worked at the Steinway factory, he represented the Steinway family and would put his signature on custom made limited edition Steinway Pianos.
The most expensive Grand Steinway piano was built in 2008 and named "Sound of Harmony." It is worth 1.2 million and was built from 40 different types of wood and the lid is covered by the artwork of the Chinese painter Shi Qi. The most expensive upright Steinway is worth 1.67 million. John Lennon was the original owner and recorded some of his famous songs on it.
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