The Appassionata—Steinway Celebrates Beethoven’s 250th Birthday

Steinway and Sons has joined in the celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th birthday by releasing a limited edition grand piano entitled “the Appassionata”, in homage to the great composer.

image showing the Appassionata grand piano in the showroom window
The Appassionata Grand Piano in Steinway’s Spirio Lounge, Hamburg

Beethoven’s Appassionata, or Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor, Opus 57, is considered by some to be his finest piano work. He wrote it between 1804 and 1806 when in his mid-30s. Interestingly, this title was actually given to the piece in 1838 by a music publisher some 10 years after the composer’s death. Appassionata means “passionate” in Italian.

The Steinway Appassionata grand piano is based on the Model B-211. It is built in the company’s Hamburg factory. And this is a limited edition of just 10 celebratory instruments.

The Steinway brand on the frame of the piano

Bösendorfer’s Grand Piano Beethoven Edition (also celebrating Beethoven 250) has an excerpt from the composer’s Moonlight Sonata inscribed on the inside of the lid. Whereas Steinway’s piano has sections from the Appassionata, and these appear on both the lid and casework.

The Appassionata has the score painted onto a white background and wraps around the rim. It also appears on the underside of the lid. This gives the impression of actual sheet music.

The Steinway is the more striking—the Bösendorfer the more subtle.

Appassionata Charity Donation

All 10 instruments come equipped with Steinway’s Spirio self-playing system. This enables users to experience performances by many the world’s greatest pianists as if in their presence.

One of these grand pianos will shortly be touring Steinway’s German dealerships. This gives potential clients the opportunity to experience the instrument in action.

image showing the inside of the Appassionata piano - looking up at the lid

At present, the price of this instrument isn’t available. However, Steinway has said that they will donate 10,000 Euros (approx. $11,800) to the Deutsche Orchesterstiftung fund for each piano sold. This is an emergency relief organisation helping struggling, self-employed musicians in Germany.

Steinway’s European website contains more information on the Appassionata Grand Piano.

Become a Piano Spotter
If you encounter a Steinway Appassionata, or one of Bösendorfer’s Beethoven Edition, in a public place, do say so. Others may very much like to take a look. Please enter the piano’s whereabouts in the Comments section below.


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