Steinway & Sons is one of the most recognized brand names in the world. The history of The Steinway Company is well documented.
My relationship with Steinway pianos goes back to 1963 when I was studying with Rooney Coffer of the Juilliard school. His apartment was a block or so away from Steinway Hall on 57th St. He had an exceptional Steinway Model M (1950?s vintage) in his teaching studio which was always perfectly maintained.
The setting for my piano lessons was at the center of music in the US. I rode the elevator with Andre Watts and Leonard Bernstein among many other classical music celebrities. The apartment building (called “The Osborne”) is directly across the street from Carnegie Hall. Even though I was young and just a beginning pianist, I was very aware of the unique experience I was being offered.
Dr. Coffer’s Steinway was the first really fine piano I ever had the chance to play and I have never forgotten it.
My words of caution to piano shoppers are to beware of being so impressed with any brand name that you blindly expect every one of their instruments to be excellent. I have had older or abused Steinways in my store from time to time that sounded just terrible yet were pronounced “the best pianos in the store” by people who should really know better.
Even new pianos of every brand vary in quality. I don’t believe the factory story that they build each one differently so that each one has its own “personality.” I think that some just come out better than others.
I am always happy to share my honest opinion of any piano in my store. I only do that,however, if the customer is open to it.
Artistic Pianos has a great selection of used Steinway Pianos
Below is a video of Owner Art Olson, playing a used Steinway Piano Model L.