The History of Steinway Pianos

The History of Steinway Pianos

If you asked a famous pianist who made his or her favorite piano, don’t be surprised if the answer is Steinway & Sons. For over 150 years, Steinway and Sons has been recognized as the Gold Standard of pianos, making some of the finest models in the world. But how did they achieve such a feat? Well, let us take you back to where it all began.

Steinway and Sons’ Beginning

In 1853, Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg founded Steinway and Sons in a small shop in Manhattan after emigrating from Germany, where he had first made pianos, to the U.S. His first piano in New York sold for $500 — remember that price for later.

By the 1860s, the Steinway and Sons factory moved to a larger location and made many patented and industry-related improvements to pianos, including those related to the better understanding of acoustics. By 1862, less than 10 years after its founding, the company’s pianos had earned 35 medals for their excellence.

Steinway’s High Praise

As the renown and fame of Steinway pianos continued to grow, they received acclaim from pianists all over the world, including Franz Liszt (yes, the Franz Liszt). In a letter to Steinway, Liszt wrote, “The new Steinway grand is a glorious masterpiece in power, sonority, singing quality, and perfect harmonic effects.” We couldn’t think of a better compliment if we tried!

Steinway’s Model Expansion

In 1857, Steinway began making art case pianos which were designed and decorated by artists. They later dabbled in player pianos — those which played on their own. Then, in 1929, the company designed and built a double-keyboard grand piano with 164 keys and 4 pedals. Talk about a challenge!

Steinway Today

Today, Steinway still has factories in Hamburg, Germany that make seven models of grand pianos and two models of upright pianos. The factory in Queens, New York, also makes six models of grand pianos and three models of upright pianos. After all these years, Steinway still maintains the reputation of being the finest piano maker in the world with 98% of concert pianists wanting to perform only on Steinway Pianos. Remember how we mentioned the first Steinway piano sold for $500? Well, in 2015, Steinway’s 600,000th piano — a special model that took over 6,000 hours over four years to build — sold for $2.4 million!

Grace Music School and Steinway

In 2016, our Melville location made history when it became the first music school to be integrated into a Steinway-owned showroom. We are very proud that our school was selected from among many fine and long-established music schools on Long Island to receive this distinction.

Students taking piano lessons at both our locations are taught on only Steinway and Steinway designed pianos helping to ensure they have the best learning experience possible. In addition, our recital space has a concert grand piano that students can perform on.

If you want to learn piano at the best music school on Long Island and on the best pianos in the industry, visit Grace Music School. For more information or to schedule a lesson, call us at 631-239-6169 (Fort Salonga) or 631-470-9705 (Melville).

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