The Steinway Concert Hall Series is a collection of limited edition grand pianos honouring major concert halls around the world. These pianos are designed to capture the unique features of the establishments they are celebrating. The release of new models may also be timed to mark notable anniversaries.
The first piano in this series was the Elbphilharmonie Edition. Unveiled in October 2018, this instrument marked the opening of Hamburg’s amazing new cultural centre, which was built atop a huge brick warehouse on the banks of the river Elbe. (Edition limited to 8 pianos.)
In 2019 Steinway premiered the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Edition. This model celebrated the 140th anniversary of the orchestra. Various elements of the piano’s design, including the exquisite santos rosewood (pau ferro) casework, were inspired by the interior and exterior of the world-class Shanghai Symphony Concert Hall. (Edition limited to 20 pianos.)
The Royal Albert Hall Edition
Now in 2021 Steinway introduces the Royal Albert Hall Limited Edition. This beautiful instrument celebrates the Grade I listed building’s 150th Anniversary.
London’s Royal Albert Hall is the most iconic performance venue in the UK. It was originally to be called the Central Hall for Arts and Sciences but this was changed in 1867 (before completion) by Queen Victoria as a memorial to her beloved husband Prince Albert. The 135ft (41m) high building is Italianate in style, and can currently seat 5,272.
Around 400 events are held here each year. These include “The Proms” an eight-week music festival featuring mostly classical performances, but also incorporating other “special” musical events. The Proms season has run for 127 years and many consider it the most important such event on the planet.
The building’s unique image features on the top of the piano’s lid. Whilst on the underside there is an etching of the concert hall’s spectacular domed roof.
The Royal Albert Hall geographically sits apart from other buildings so its recognisable profile is clearly visible. This shape is captured graphically on the specially shaped music desk and on the nameboard.
As with all the Concert Hall Series, a bronze plaque is affixed to the inner shell of the piano. This details the nature of the limited edition and the piano’s unique number.
These instruments are all manufactured at Steinway’s Hamburg (Germany) facility. Only eight of the Royal Albert Hall Limited Edition pianos will ever be made — one Model D concert grand, and seven Model B-211 classic grands.
Again as with the other two limited editions, Steinway is donating funds to charity from the sale of these instruments. In this case, £200,000 has been promised to the Royal Albert Hall’s own charity to promote the Arts and Sciences, and to preserve and enhance the integrity of the listed building.
A fourth edition to the Concert Hall Series is on its way, but Steinway isn’t saying any more at present…!
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