April 27, 1972

  • Approximately 70 members of extended Steinway family, most of whom hadn’t met for years and even decades, gather at Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria, for the meeting of 228 stockholders that will formally decide the future of the factory.
  • Henry Z. Steinway addresses the gathering, and explains why Steinway & Sons has to be sold: there are no Steinway family members to inherit the business; both New York City and the part of Hamburg where the German factory is located no longer present friendly environment for piano manufacturing, and if the business is to relocate, it need stronger financial backing than it can expect as an independent establishment; the modern business practices require a team of legally-versed experts to manage the company; the Japanese aggression is best dealt with under the umbrella of a major corporation; and finally, the conditions offered by CBS are extremely lucrative: $370 worth of solid CBS stock in exchange for each share of Steinway & Sons stock is a lot more than anyone could hope for.
  • Ruth Steinway, the widow of Theodore E. Steinway and the mother of Henry Z. Steinway, John H. Steinway and Frederick Steinway, addressing the assembly, expressed her negative opinion about the inevitable sale of Steinway & Sons to CBS, and orders CBS to continue to “make the finest damn piano that can be made”.
  • The voting takes place. Most of the shares are voted by proxy, and the result is in favor of the sale to CBS. Surprisingly, Ruth Steinway’s vote has supported the sale. Frederick Steinway, however, has voted against it.
  • Henry Z. Steinway and John H. Steinway sign the documents that transfer Steinway & Sons ownership to CBS.
  • Henry Z. Steinway announces to Steinway & Sons workers in the United States and Europe that they’re now employed by CBS.