A new grand piano, produced by Steinway & Sons in partnership with the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg’s new cultural centre) has just been unveiled. With a production run of only eight instruments, the stunning Steinway & Sons Elbphilharmonie Limited Edition celebrates and compliments the unique nature and structure of the new building.
The Elbphilharmonie is perched atop the Kaispeicher A (a huge brick warehouse) on the banks of the river Elbe. Conceived in 2001, it opened in January 2017. It was designed by acclaimed Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, and gives the impression of a huge wave constantly evolving as it reflects the changing skies. The Elbphilharmonie project is claimed to be Europe’s largest inner-city development.
This truly iconic structure in Hamburg’s historic port, features three concert halls, a hotel, and 45 private apartments. In addition, the Plaza, a public viewing area, offers a 360˚ view over the docklands and across the city’s rooftops.
A notable architectural feature of this landmark building is its undulating roofline, and Steinway has incorporated this motif throughout the instrument. The music rest is the most obvious example, and this logo silhouette also appears on a special unique individually numbered plaque.
The exterior facade of the Elbphilharmonie comprises over 1,100 glass panels. Each panel features a half-toning dot-matrix pattern that provides varying degrees of shade, dependant on the room it covers. An interpretation of this pattern is airbrushed by hand on the inside of the piano’s lid by artist Thorsten Boehm.
Other unique features include the piano’s bench, which uses the same upholstery as the seats in the Elbphilharmonie’s Grand Hall.
Steinway is donating €20,000 of each sale price to Stiftung Elbphilharmonie. Established in 2005, this charitable foundation promotes various music education programmes.
The instruments will be sponsored by eight professional pianists. They are: Lucas & Arthur Jussen, Igor Levit, Jan Lisiecki, Brad Mehldau, Daniil Trifonov, Mitsuko Uchida, Anna Vinnitskaya and Yuja Wang. These pianists fully support this project and will serve as the pianos’ ‘Godparents‘. Future owners will receive a certificate stating the name of the selected ‘Godparent’. They will also have the opportunity to meet the ’Godparent’ of his/her instrument and will receive tickets for a recital in the Elbphilharmonie.
These pianos truly capture the Elbphilharmonie’s stunning look-and-feel. They reflect the attention to meticulous design detail that Steinway is known for. And, like their namesake, the pianos exude an air of exceptional quality.
As mentioned there will only be eight pianos in this limited edition. These are based on the Model B (Length: 211cm, Width: 148cm, Weight: 354kg). Two finishes are available — black lacquer and oak, both feature a silver plate and black inner rim. Steinway’s SPIRIO player piano system will be fitted to five of the instrument.
The Steinway & Sons Elbphilharmonie Limited Edition is built at the company’s Hamburg facility. This was established way back in 1880, and is one of only two Steinway factories worldwide. The other is in the company’s hometown of New York. Steinway recently opened their first SPIRIO Lounge right next to the Elbphilharmonie.
For prices please contact your local Steinway Hall. More information can be found on the Steinway Europe website.