June 12, 2012

The Music Department at Utah State University has joined the elite ranks of All-Steinway Schools in a campaign that has culminated with a gift from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. With that gift and support of earlier donors, USU has recently acquired … Continue reading

May 7, 2012

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright becomes newest Steinway Artist. The announcement coincides with the release of Wainwright’s new album, “Out of the Game”. In the words of Rufus Wainwright: “I grew up playing my grandmother’s 100 year old Steinway. That instrument is … Continue reading

October 28, 2011

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe release their debut album on the Steinway & Sons label, “When Words Fade”, featuring piano duo arrangements of songs by Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Coldplay. The CD is engineered by multi-Grammy-winning … Continue reading

October 20, 2011

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas, holds a whole-day celebration of joining an exclusive group of only 135 prestigious colleges, universities, and conservatories worldwide that hold the title of All-Steinway School. SAGU is the first Assemblies of … Continue reading

June 9, 2011

25-year-old pop singer Lady Gaga donates her Steinway & Sons grand piano to Charitybuzz Auction, to be sold for the benefit of Ten O’Clock Classics, an organization that strives to provide classical music venues, outlets for up and coming classical artists … Continue reading

May 29, 2011

New York Times publishes a very favorable review by Allan Kozinn of the new album “Musica Callada” (“Silent Music”) of 28 aphoristic piano works by Catalonian composer Federico Mompou, recorded by pianist Jenny Lin for Steinway & Sons record label. … Continue reading

April 27, 2011

With the purchase of 13 Steinway & Sons pianos for its studios, practice rooms and performance venues, Pellissippi State Community College becomes an All-Steinway School – Tennessee’s first community college to earn this distinction.

December 23, 2010

The William Steinway Diary, on display at the Smithsonian Museum, becomes publicly accessible via an annotated online edition. The first installment of the web site includes Edwin M. Good’s complete transcription of the entire Diary alongside high-resolution scans of each … Continue reading

October 25, 2010

On the day of its 70th anniversary, the Conservatory of Music, Beijing, receives its All-Steinway School designation. The world-renowned conservatory now owns 127 Steinway & Sons grand pianos and 41 Boston grand pianos.

June 30, 2010

The Department of Music at the George Washington University receives an anonymous gift of 28 Steinway & Sons pianos, making the George Washington University a new All-Steinway School.

April 20, 2010

A Steinway Model D concert grand piano “takes flight” over Hamburg, Germany, hoisted by Europe’s tallest crane onto the roof of the 24 -story “Emporio” building. This adventure, closely coordinated between Steinway & Sons Hamburg, Union Investment, and the “Elbphilharmonie … Continue reading

April 2, 2010

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music has become the world’s 111th All-Steinway School, having bought 30 Steinway, Boston and Essex Pianos, including 2 concert grand pianos.

March 21, 2010

Steinway Artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lang Lang, conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra come together at Carnegie Hall for a benefit concert, aiding UNICEF in their efforts to bring relief to the children surviving the devastating earthquake … Continue reading

January 11, 2010

High Point University has become the 110th educational institution in the world, and the first university in North Carolina to be designated an “All-Steinway School”, thanks to the delivery of 14 new Steinway & Sons pianos to the campus.

2009

Steinway & Sons introduces the Boston Performance Edition piano. Starting that year, all Steinway D Concert Grands are fitted with New York short legs and Hamburg large casters. The first piano fitted like that is Ebony Satin D #584808.

December 22, 2009

With the $1,230,000 purchase of 61 new Steinway & Sons pianos the University of Florida School of Music becomes an All-Steinway School and the owner of the largest collection of Steinway & Sons pianos in Florida.

December 3, 2009

A group of world-renowned performers join President Barack Obama in the 86th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The group of performers includes Steinway Artist Brad Mehldau. All of the event’s performers who played piano or had piano accompaniment used a Steinway … Continue reading

August 31, 2009

With the delivery of 59 new Steinway & Sons pianos, Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music has earned the distinction of being named an “All-Steinway School” by Steinway & Sons.

June 4, 2009

Robb Report magazine names Steinway Lyngdorf’s Grand Speaker System – Model LS “Best of the Best” for Home Audio in Robb Report’s 21st Annual Best of the Best issue.

May 22 – June 7, 2009

The Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, featuring Steinway & Sons pianos exclusively, is streamed live in its entirety at www.cliburn.tv. The Fort Worth, Texas competition features twenty-nine pianists vying for prizes valued at more than $1,000,000. Pianist and arts advocate … Continue reading

April 2009

The Juilliard School receives the delivery of twelve new Steinway & Sons pianos: eleven Model O grand pianos and one Model D concert grand piano. The new instruments have been purchased as part of the Juilliard / Lincoln Center Redevelopment … Continue reading

March 4 – April 5, 2009

Steinway & Sons has provided New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse with a Steinway Grand piano for exhibition during performances at the Millburn theater of the production of Terrence McNally’s play “Master Class”, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg.

March 5-8, 2009

Steinway & Sons Piano Gallery, the company’s new retail location at 505 Walt Whitman Road in Melville, Long Island, NY, celebrates its grand opening with a series of special musical events.

January 14, 2009

Steinway & Sons launches the William E. Steinway Limited Edition piano at the company’s annual convention in Newport Beach, California. This is a reproduction of the Steinway Centennial Piano, which was first introduced in 1876 at the nation’s Centennial Exposition … Continue reading

2008

The world’s most expensive grand piano is built at Steinway & Sons factory in Hamburg, Germany, for €1,200,000. Conceived and commissioned by Chinese art collector and music lover, Guo Qingxiang, the piano has been created by Steinway & Sons in … Continue reading

December 1, 2008

The University of Victoria becomes Canada’s first All-Steinway School, after purchasing 60 new Steinway & Sons pianos and Steinway & Sons-designed Boston pianos from Tom Lee Music, Steinway & Sons authorized representative for British Columbia.

June 15, 2008

As reported on that day in a New York Times article by Cynthia Werthamer, the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, New York, in its bid to become an All-Steinway School, has bought 42 Steinway & Sons pianos.

April 15, 2008

Steinway & Sons receives Belmont University’s School of Music Applause Award, the highest honor given by the school, presented to Steinway & Sons “for their international reputation for excellence in piano making.”

2007

Crane University of New York becomes an All-Steinway School with the purchase of 141 Steinway & Sons pianos, the largest purchase in the history of Steinway & Sons at the time. 98% of all pianists worldwide, performing with orchestras that … Continue reading

October 15, 2007

Noted philanthropist, Dr. Bobbie Bailey, donates 32 pianos designed by Steinway & Sons to Kennesaw State University (Georgia), in honor of her mother. Kennesaw State University thus becomes an All-Steinway School. The University Dean Joseph Meeks states, “To be an All-Steinway School … Continue reading

June 2007

Robb Report magazine, the international authority on the luxury lifestyle, names Steinway Lyngdorf’s flagship Model D Music System “Best of the Best” for Home Audio in Robb Report’s 19st Annual Best of the Best issue.

2006

Steinway & Sons factory in New York announces that the Model O will return to production, replacing the Model L. Steinway & Sons unveils the Henry Z. Steinway Limited Edition piano to commemorate the 91st birthday of Henry Z. Steinway … Continue reading

2004

Steinway & Sons buys back and refurbishes its Model D #51,257, the very first Model D Concert Grand piano (completed on January 31, 1884). The company re-registers the piano as CD-001, and includes it in the Concert & Artists Inventory. … Continue reading

2003

In honor of Steinway & Sons’ 150th Anniversary, the company creates two new Art Case pianos: Limited Edition 150th Anniversary (the recreation of the historic Ignacy Paderewski Steinway & Sons grand piano), and the S.L.ED, designed by Karl Lagerfeld, with … Continue reading

2002

The portrait of Arthur Rubinstein, at the time the latest addition to the Steinway Art Collection, is moved to Room #9, on the second floor in Steinway Hall. The room is renamed “The Arthur Rubinstein Room,” the first Sales room … Continue reading

May 2002

“Henry The Steinway”, a children’s book about a young piano student named Ana and her piano named Henry, is published. The book is written by Peter Goodrich, Steinway & Sons’ Vice President of Concert and Artists, and Sally Coveleskie, Steinway … Continue reading

2000

Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the invention of the piano, Steinway & Sons and furniture designer, Dakota Jackson, create the Tricentennial Limited Edition piano. This is the first time since the early 20th century that a 6-foot-2-inches Model A grand … Continue reading

October 2000

Steinway & Sons announces the introduction of the third line of pianos called the Essex, for the low-cost, entry-level market, designed by Steinway & Sons in collaboration with furniture designer William Faber, to be manufactured by the Korean piano manufacturer, Young … Continue reading

January 2000

Steinway & Sons announces the opening of the William Steinway University, an in-house Management and Sales Training Educational Wing of Steinway & Sons Management, to support and strengthen the sales and marketing of the Steinway Dealerships.

February 1, 2000

Steinway & Sons employees Marvin S. Jones, Peter M. Barna, William S. Youse, Anthony C. Arena, and Michael Mohr receive the United States patent #6,020,544, to “an underlever assembly having an underlever arm and an underlever support joining the underlever arm … Continue reading

1999

Steinway & Sons acquires Pianohaus Karl Lang of Munich (Germany’s largest piano dealership). After the purchase, the dealership is renamed “Steinway Hall Munich”. Steinway & Sons buys O.S. Kelly foundry, the largest manufacturer of piano plates in the United States.

June 8, 1999

Steinway & Sons employees William S. Youse, Marvin S. Jones, and Stephan Knupher receive the United States patent #5,911,167, to “a knuckle assembly for an escapement action of a piano”.

1998

Steinway & Sons buys Kluge, Europe’s largest manufacturer of piano keys, with which Steinway & Sons had been doing business for over a century. Steinway & Sons introduces “Steinway’s Rhapsody”, Limited Edition – a series of only 24 pianos (George … Continue reading

October 1997

“88 Keys, The Making of a Steinway Piano”, the book by Miles Chapin, is released. Miles Chapin is a fifth generation descendant of Steinway & Sons’ founder Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, and a son of Elisabeth Steinway and Schuyler Chapin (Commissioner … Continue reading

1996

Steinway & Sons is named “Company of the Year” by The Music Trades. Steinway & Sons’ president Bruce Stevens, in the presence of the Rubinstein family, unveils the portrait of Steinway Artist, Arthur Rubinstein, created by New York Artist Jacob … Continue reading

April 30, 1996

Steinway & Sons employees Marvin S. Jones, Dirk Dickten, Gary M. Green, Paul Oleksy, Gregory R. Sims, Ludwig Tomescu, and Robert C. Berger receive the United States patent #5,511,454, to the “piano escapement action”.

April 23, 1996

Steinway & Sons employees Salvadore J. Calabrese, Henry A. Scarton, S. Frank Murray, Christopher M. Ettles, Warren C. Kennedy, Saim Dinc, Bessem Jlidi, and William Strong receive the United States patent #5,509,344, to the “Member With Synthetic Surface Replicating a … Continue reading

1995

“Steinway & Sons”, a book by Dr. Richard Lieberman, is released. The book is based on Steinway & Sons’ archive and Steinway family papers, held at LaGuardia Community College in New York, as well as on interviews with family members … Continue reading

May 28, 1995

New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein publishes an article titled “Made in U.S.A., Once Gloriously, Now Precariously”, once again expressing concern of the quality of modern Steinway & Sons pianos. The article, however, expresses more optimism: “struck by the … Continue reading

April 19, 1995

New York Times reports that Robert and John Birmingham have sold Steinway & Sons for $100,000,000 to Selmer Musical Instruments, maker of clarinets and saxophones, owned by Dana Messina and Kyle Kirkland, former investment bankers. The Birmingham brothers have sold … Continue reading

1994

Steinway & Sons sells 2,829 pianos (260 more than in the previous year). Steinway & Sons makes $125,000,000 in piano sales ($23,000,000 more than in the previous year). The Steinway Academy (a.k.a the C.F. Theodore Steinway School for Concert Technicians), the … Continue reading

1993

Steinway & Sons sells 2,569 pianos.] Steinway & Sons makes $102,000,000 in piano sales. Sanford G. Woodard leaves his position of general manager at Steinway & Sons.

Mid-1993

Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria works two weeks on / two weeks off, building less than 1,000 pianos per year. Steinway & Sons plant in Hamburg also manufactures fewer pianos, as a result of recession in Europe.

June 30, 1992

James M. Lombino (a Steinway & Sons employee) receives the United States patent #5,125,310, to “a method for forming a piano hammer in which the felt is impregnated with an acrylic copolymer”.

June 16, 1992

New York Times publishes a harsh response to the premiere of the three piano concertos, by music critic Bernard Holland, who lists the composers without much reverence: “Lalo Schifrin, a maker of background music for Hollywood thrillers, Rodion Shchedrin, a top … Continue reading

1991

Steinway & Sons hires a new head of Concert and Artists Department: Schuyler G. Chapin – a former dean of the Columbia University School of Arts, General Manager of Metropolitan Opera, and a husband of Elisabeth Steinway, Theodore E. Steinway’s … Continue reading

May 9, 1991

The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes an article by Michael Vitez, dedicated to Steinway & Sons’ recent soundboard problems. The article includes a photo of a cracked Steinway & Sons piano soundboard. In the article, Michael J. Yaeger, a piano dealer from Waterford, … Continue reading

March 27, 1991

Wall Street Journal publishes an article by Judith Valente, about recent Steinway & Sons challenges: “Sour Notes. In Clash Between Art and Efficiency, Did Steinway Pianos Lose? New Business-Minded Owners Modernized Production, Forced Out Old Managers. Firm Calls Criticism “Hokum”. … Continue reading

March 1991

Steinway & Sons announces that it will design a line of “mid-priced” pianos to be built by Kawai, the Japanese manufacturer, and sold by Steinway & Sons dealers.

January 1991

Steinway & Sons hires a new general manager, Sanford G. Woodard, a nuclear industry quality control expert with Master degree in Business Administration, and experience in strategic planning at General Electric. He has played accordion before, and began to take … Continue reading

April 28, 1990

“Steinway Repair–Warranty Units” document, marked with this date, indicates that of the 93 pianos brought back to Steinway & Sons’ Astoria factory for warranty work, 39 units suffer from soundboard problems.

1989

Steinway & Sons’ factory in Astoria outputs 10 pianos a day, or roughly 2,400 per year. The glass case at Steinway Hall, containing the Paris Exhibition award, along with several others, has been smashed, and the medals stolen, never to … Continue reading

May 1, 1989

In The New Republic magazine, music critic for the New York Times Edward Rothstein publishes a new article about Steinway & Sons, titled “Don’t Shoot the Piano”, where he again interviews Robert P. Birmingham: “It’s really different from selling oil; … Continue reading

February 1989

Steinway & Sons Vice President of Sales Frank Mazurko sends an inter-office memorandum to Bruce Stevens, regarding the increased number of warranty problems at Steinert’s (Steinway & Sons dealer in Boston since XIX century): “This particular dealer, who is our … Continue reading

1988

Steinway & Sons’ scrap and rework expenses decline by approximately 23%, compared to the previous year – but they are still 46% higher than in the last year of CBS ownership.  

August 1988

In an interview given to Keyboard magazine, Steinway & Sons’ president Bruce Stevens accuses Yamaha of “probably dumping pianos in America at less than they were sold in Japan. [...] What they’re merchandizing is the damndest thing I’ve ever seen. … Continue reading

June 4, 1988

New York Times reporter Michael Kimmelman publishes an article about the Carnegie Hall concert, performed on the Steinway & Sons piano #500,000, and dedicated to the company’s 135th anniversary.

June 1988

Steinway Foundation is formed, with the purpose of commissioning new piano compositions for public performance, and, of course, popularizing Steinway & Sons pianos.

June 2, 1988

Steinway & Sons piano number #500,000 is presented during the gala concert at Carnegie Hall, held in celebration of Steinway & Sons’ 135th anniversary.  Prominent furniture designer Wendell Castle has designed the futuristic case of the 500,000th Steinway & Sons instrument. … Continue reading

1987

Striving to improve the quality of new Steinway & Sons pianos, Robert and John Birmingham and Bruce Stevens send the old Astoria factory manager to retirement. The new manager, Daniel T. Koenig, a former General Electric engineer, initiates the complete … Continue reading

1986

Steinway & Sons sells 1,858 American-built pianos, a 34% increase compared to the previous year, but below the company’s average sales figure during the CBS years. “Steinway & Sons 1986 Failure Costs” indicates the average of $184 of warranty expenses … Continue reading

June 7, 1983

Walter D. Drasche receives the United States patent #4,386,455, to the “bearings for piano action mechanism employing “permafree” bushing cloth and method of fabricating same”.

1982

New York branch of Steinway & Sons finally stops using Teflon bushings, after William T. Steinway and Walter Drasche invent the method for “impregnation of the felt cloth with a Teflon liquid which coated the fibers of the cloth, and … Continue reading

May 26, 1982

New York Times reports that Peter M. Perez is dismissed from the position of Steinway & Sons president, replaced by Lloyd Meyer, former president of Gulbransen piano and electric organ company.

1980

Steinway & Sons builds and sells a little over 3,000 pianos. Yamaha sells over 20,000 pianos only in the United States. Henry Z. Steinway, 65 years old, retires from the post of the Steinway & Sons chairman (the age of Henry … Continue reading

June 22, 1980

New York Times article by Harold Shonberg, published on that day, reports the new tendency among the most notable Steinway artists to avoid Astoria-built Steinway & Sons grand pianos. Virtuoso pianists Claudio Arrau, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Horacio Gutiérrez, Maurizio Pollini, … Continue reading

May 1977

Robert G. Campbell invites Henry Z. Steinway to his office in Chicago. During the meeting, Robert G. Campbell informs Henry Z. Steinway that he has been removed from the post of Steinway & Sons’ president: a CBS executive named Robert … Continue reading

1976

Steinway & Sons builds 5,442 pianos (the highest number since before the WWII, 21 pianos more than in 1966; notwithstanding the relationship problems between Steinway & Sons and CBS management). However, Steinway & Sons profit is 6% below the budget … Continue reading

August 22, 1975

Henry Z. Steinway, in his memorandum to Robert G. Campbell, hints that he’s ready to complain to CBS top management: ”Let us not forget, as we do not, Chairman Paley’s injunction to put quality first”.

July 9, 1975

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reaches the conclusion of the 100-year-long case of Steinway & Sons versus Grotrian-Steinweg. Grotrian-Steinweg has been asserting that their brand pre-dates Steinway & Sons’ in Germany. Steinway & Sons has argued … Continue reading

1974

CBS decides to concentrate Steinway & Sons production and sales on the more profitable larger-size grand pianos, abandoning the smaller grand piano market to the competition. The average price of Yamaha piano is $1,730 – more than three times lower … Continue reading

Fall 1973

To dodge the American import tariff, Yamaha buys Everett piano factory in South Haven, Michigan, thus becoming an American piano manufacturer, and begins to build upright and grand pianos there under Everett and Yamaha names. 90% of Steinway & Sons … Continue reading

January 1973

Yamaha’s president formulates his company new goal: overtake Steinway. As a means to this objective, Yamaha begins to mass-produce copies of Steinway & Sons grand pianos, and sell them wherever possible, even in motorcycle dealerships in South America.

1972

CBS considers moving Steinway & Sons factory out of New York, in the words of Henry Z. Steinway, “down where they appreciate manufacturers” – and ultimately decides against it. Steinway & Sons net profit is $120,000.

May 1972

Henry Z. Steinway has a business lunch with Frank N. Stanton and William S. Paley, the president and CEO of CBS. (He will never have a chance to meet with his new bosses again.)

Early January, 1972

Henry Z. Steinway, Helmut Friedlaender and Henry Ziegler hold a meeting, during which they agree “to ask for 500,000 shares of CBS stock in a tax-free exchange for Steinway stock, valued at $23 million.”

1965 – 1972

At Steinway & Sons approximately 3,400 pianos remain on backorder every year. Taking advantage of Steinway & Sons backorder situation, Yamaha inundates American market with high-quality pianos, sold for half the price of similar Steinway & Sons instruments.

1971

Steinway & Sons’ capital in money and assets is estimated at $19,000,000. The company makes 3.6% profit and delivers 7% return on stockholder investment – not a very profitable business.

May 1971

Supported by Steinway & Sons Board of Directors, Henry Z. Steinway, initiates confidential formal inquiries regarding the possibility of selling Steinway & Sons.

Early 1971

Henry Z. Steinway hears Yamaha concert grand piano for the first time, while visiting the international trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. According to Henry Z. Steinway, Yamaha “had a shockingly good sound”.

1970

Steinway & Sons hires a large group of African-American and Hispanic workers, mostly the former employees of Janssen Piano Company, which had gone bankrupt in 1969. The majority of these workers have been hired as polishers and rubbers in the … Continue reading

July 1970

Helmut Friedlaender arranges a confidential private meeting in a downtown New York club between Henry Z. Steinway and managers of the Japanese piano manufacturing company Kawai – to discuss the possibility of selling Steinway & Sons to the Japanese business.

1969 – 1970

Henry Ziegler, Henry Z. Steinway’s cousin and the holder of 12.3% of Steinway & Sons’ shares, actively supports the idea of selling Steinway & Sons, taking the side of Helmut Friedlaender and William Rosenwald.

Mid-1940s – 1970

James Cerofeci serves as Steinway & Sons’ union leader. All through these decades, he is praised by Steinway & Sons workers and management alike – for his flexibility, communication skills and commitment to collaboration.

1960s

The 10% – 16% price increase doesn’t slow down Steinway & Sons piano sales. New Steinway & Sons pianos are bought by churches, hotels and schools. The American “baby boomers” grow up to become teenagers, whose obsession with rock music … Continue reading

1969

Steinway & Sons gross profit for that year is $314,000 ($583,955 less than the previous year’s net profit!) Paradoxically, the profit drops as the sales continue to grow. The company’s decrease in profitability is the consequence of 48% increase in … Continue reading

October 1969

In reaction to recent dramatic increase of piano import, Henry Z. Steinway initiates the attempt by the National Piano Manufacturers Association to persuade President Nixon to reinstate the 40% percent piano import tariff of the 1930. Henry Z. Steinway delivers … Continue reading

Summer 1969

Steinway News publishes the article about the United States President Richard Nixon presenting Steinway Artist Duke Ellington with presidential Medal of Freedom. In the same issue of the in-house quarterly there’s a story about Scott Newhall, the managing editor of … Continue reading

Late 1960s

Numerous Steinway & Sons workers, bound by the long-term union contract, either quit Steinway & Sons to open their own piano repair businesses, or find second jobs in small private piano shops. Old Steinway & Sons workers train the recently hired … Continue reading

1968

Steinway & Sons makes $14,300,000 in piano sales. Steinway & Sons’ net profit is $897,955. Beatrice Foods Company offers to buy Steinway & Sons for $21,000,000, but the offer is declined by Steinway & Sons management. Yamaha’s advertisements begin to … Continue reading

January 1968

That month’s issue of Japan Music Trades contains an article in which Genichi Kawakami pledges that Yamaha will “catch up with, and pass up, Steinway”. The same publication includes a full-page advertisement of Yamaha pianos, claiming the right to some … Continue reading

1967

Steinway & Sons piano builders work 6 days a week (Monday through Saturday), 8 hour a day – this is Steinway & Sons’ attempt to satisfy the demand and eliminate the backlog. Unfortunately, neither additional space, nor overtime solve the … Continue reading

1966

Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria builds 5,421 pianos – the biggest number since before the Great Depression. This record will only be exceeded in 1976. 1,959 of the total pianos built at Steinway & Sons are upright pianos – … Continue reading

Spring 1966

Henry Z. Steinway and the rest of Steinway & Sons management discover that Helmut Friedlaender, the financial advisor to the founder of American Securities Corporation William Rosenwald, has over a period of time secretly bought for Rosenwald 6,999 Steinway & … Continue reading

March 1966

In this month’s issue of Seiko, Yamaha’s in-house publication, Genichi Kawakami makes a bold announcement: “we have now succeeded in manufacturing a test model of what we believe will be the world’s finest concert grand piano”. Unbeknownst to Henry Z. … Continue reading

Spring 1965

Steinway News publishes the photo of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, the Steinway Artist, “before an enthusiastic audience of 1,600 people in the nave of Coventry’s new Cathedral”. This is the first time a portrait of a black Steinway Artist is … Continue reading

March 8, 1965

3,500 U.S. Marines are dispatched to South Vietnam. This event marks the beginning of the American ground war against Northern Vietnam (even though American military support had been provided to South Vietnamese government, and American military “advisors” have been active … Continue reading

1964

Henry Z. Steinway and Steinway & Sons workers union leader James Cerofeci sign a three-year union contract, giving the workers 10 cents per hour pay increase in the first year, no increase in the second year, and five cents per … Continue reading

September 23, 1964

In his letter to Board of Directors dated with this day, Edwin B. Orcutt reports that Steinway & Sons’ bank account contains approximately $1,000,000, and the equivalent amount exists in secure investments. Steinway & Sons is prospering.

January 31, 1964

Frederick Steinway resigns from Steinway & Sons, and launches an artists management firm together with Arthur Judson, his partner Ruth O’Neill, and former Boston Symphony Orchestra Press and Publicity manager Harry Beall. (After a while, Frederick Steinway will resign from that organization, … Continue reading

1963

Steinway & Sons share of the nation grand piano market is 28% (4% higher than in 1958), another indication of success of Henry Z. Steinway presidency. Steinway & Sons builds 1,650 upright pianos, 113 more than in 1961. Steinway & … Continue reading

June 21, 1963

Henry Z. Steinway requests and receives Steinway & Sons’ Board of Directors’ approval for $850,000 budget, allocated for creating the 44,000 additional square feet of rough milling and storage space.

1962

By the end of that year, all Steinway & Sons pianos manufactured in the United States use Permafree (Teflon) bushings. Steinway & Sons advertisement begin to mention maintenance-free pianos for any climate. (In reality, it’s precisely Teflon’s lack of response … Continue reading

May 11, 1962

During the meeting of Steinway & Sons Board of Directors, the Teflon bushings are mentioned for the first time by their Steinway & Sons brand name: “Permafree Bushings”.

Early 1960s

Judging by the Steinway & Sons warranty work expenses, the company is building better pianos than 15 years previously. Warranty expense, that had always been insignificant (less than 0.5% of revenue) has decreased to less than 0.25%. Unfortunately, the situation … Continue reading

1961

Even though approximately 60% of Steinway & Sons profit is spent on taxes and union-related payments, Steinway & Sons receives $23.71 per-piano dividend (six times as much as in the company’s centennial year). This is the indication that Henry Z. … Continue reading

May 18, 1961

Henry Z. Steinway, in his ”Report on European Trip, Inter-House Matters, N.Y. Experiments”, mentions the (soon-to-be-infamous) Teflon bushings, invented by Theodore D. Steinway, for the first time. Using synthetic material Teflon instead of natural felt appears at first glance to offer … Continue reading

1901 – 1961

In the course of approximately sixty years, throughout the presidencies of nine American presidents – Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower – … Continue reading

November 26, 1960

In a letter to the director of Steinway & Sons’ Hamburg branch Walter Günther, dated with this day, Yamaha’s business manager Akio Nagaoka offers that Yamaha should become Steinway & Sons dealer in Japan, to replace the current dealer, Mr. Matsuo, who sells Steinway & … Continue reading

June 1960

That month’s issue of Music Trades magazine contains an article, in which William Wallace Kimball, Jr., the president of W.W. Kimball & Company, and also the president of the National Piano Manufacturers Association, expresses his concern that non-American piano manufacturers, … Continue reading

May 18, 1960

In reaction to piano market trends, Steinway & Sons introduces a new inexpensive upright piano “Contemporary Vertical”, targeting poor families, interested in teaching their children to play piano. “Contemporary Vertical” proves to be a success, and will add 300 to … Continue reading

1959

Steinway & Sons builds and sells 2,205 pianos (1,035 grands and 1,170 uprights). Union leader James Cerofeci, motivated by instability of Steinway & Sons’ sales, persuades the workers to sign a two-year contract that includes only 1% increase in the … Continue reading

1958

Steinway & Sons builds and sells 1,936 pianos, almost 600 less than two years previously. Steinway & Sons’ net loss in America is $60,000 – however, with money coming now from Hamburg, Steinway & Sons makes profit internationally ($115,406 total), … Continue reading

May 20, 1958

New York City gives ticker-tape parade to Steinway Artist Van Cluburn, “the Texan who conquered Russia”. Van Cliburn instantly gains the “teenagers idol” status all through the United States.

Late April, 1958

Frederick Steinway, age 37, inherits the Concert and Artists department from the late Alexander Greiner. (Frederick will be instrumental in enlisting jazz pianists, such as Ahmad Jamal, as Steinway Artists.)

April 21, 1958

Steinway & Sons sells Steinway Building to Manhattan Life Insurance Company for $3,000,000 (approximately $100,000 above its market value); the basement, first floor and the mezzanine, however, are leased back to Steinway & Sons for twenty years. No real estate … Continue reading

April 20, 1958

Alexander Greiner, Steinway & Sons’ head of concert and artist department, dies in his office at Steinway Hall, a week after Van Cliburn wins the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.

Late 1957 – Early 1958

Alexander Greiner helps pianist Van Cliburn to receive a $1,000 grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Aid to Music program, and encourages him to go to Moscow and take part in the First International Tchaikowski Competition.

Late 1950s

Acting on Henry Z. Steinway’s orders, Frank Walsh and his two assistants begin to document the entire production process of Steinway & Sons. Observing every worker, they write down detailed descriptions of every operation, and make drawings of every item in the … Continue reading

1957

Another one of Steinway & Sons’ remaining two Ditmars avenue factory buildings is sold. In addition to his advertising duties, John H. Steinway begins to serve regularly as the secretary at Steinway & Sons’ Board of Directors meetings. Henry Z. … Continue reading

December 1957

Approximately 400 guests meet at the testimonial dinner to honor James Cerofeci, Steinway & Sons’ 51-year-old union leader. Robert F. Wagner, New York’s mayor, is among the officials who have sent their congratulations.

1956

Steinway & Sons in the United States builds 2,535 pianos. Steinway & Sons’ makes sales are $4,901,000 (almost $400,000 more than the previous year). Steinway & Sons pianos are used in 905 concerts in New York City during this year. … Continue reading

April 2, 1956

Henry Z. Steinway reports to Steinway & Sons stockholders that the company’s piano sales have increased by more than $500,000, making it profitable again. Henry Z. Steinway also requests the stockholders’ approval for allocating $1,300,000 budget, to add 200,000 square feet to … Continue reading

1955

Steinway & Sons makes $4,530,000 in sales. Steinway & Sons’ net profit is $90,788. Steinway & Sons’ Hamburg plant recovers to the production / sales level, equal to that of 1930. Vladimir Horowitz begins to record his new repertoire at … Continue reading

Fall 1955

Henry Z. Steinway, the newly appointed Steinway & Sons president, requests and receives the Board of Directors’ approval for the additional funds to build a covered wood storage area next to Steinway & Sons’ open lumberyard. (That building is currently … Continue reading

1954

Steinway & Sons workers are on the week on / week off schedule (with the exception of the five weeks during the summer when the factory is closed completely). The company is in crisis, notwithstanding the American economic boom of … Continue reading

1953

Steinway & Sons American factory builds 2,236 pianos. Steinway & Sons’ net loss is $17,977: the company is at its lowest point since the Great Depression. Steinway & Sons is forced to borrow $600,000 from a bank, to cover business expenses. Steinway … Continue reading

October 18, 1953

Ed Sullivan, host of the CBS TV show ”Toast of the Town”, broadcasts a dress rehearsal of a portion of Steinway’s centennial concert, featuring Chopin’s Polonaise in A major, performed by ten pianists: Ethel Bartlett, Alexander Brailowsky, Sidney Foster, Gaby Casadesus, Moura Lympany, … Continue reading

Fall 1953

Steinway & Sons drivers, all members of the local Teamster Union, go on strike, making it impossible to deliver Steinway & Sons pianos to Carnegie Hall for the Centennial concert.

1952

Steinway & Sons net profit is $54,275. Steinway & Sons factory in Hamburg builds 847 pianos. At Theodore E. Steinway initiative, Steinway & Sons begins to put together a year-long worldwide program for the following year, in commemoration of Steinway & … Continue reading

March 1, 1951

Steinway & Sons sells Ditmars no. 3 factory building to Alstores Realty Corporation, an affiliate of Sterns Department Store, for $725,000. With this money Steinway & Sons pays off its last $750,000 in bank loans.

July 17, 1950

According to inter-office memo sent by Theodore D. “Teed” Steinway on that day, several representatives of Yamaha music instruments factory have visited Steinway & Sons, and expressed interest in selling Steinway & Sons pianos in Japan. Steinway & Sons rejects … Continue reading

June 15, 1950

Henry Z. Steinway’s memorandum to Steinway & Sons’ Board of Directors includes the proposal for “factory consolidation” (concentrating the piano production in smaller space, and liquidating the unnecessary factories), and also possible alternatives: ”to abandon our current quality standards and enter … Continue reading

1949

Steinway & Sons in America builds and sells 2,541 pianos. Steinway & Sons’ net profit is $154,979 profit. Steinway & Sons’ Hamburg factory builds 209 pianos. Steinway & Sons is the first piano manufacturer in Germany to resume business, which … Continue reading

1948

Steinway & Sons in America builds and sells 3,765 pianos. Steinway & Sons’ net profit is $434,943. Steinway & Sons’ Hamburg factory builds 29 pianos. Steinway & Sons store in Berlin re-opens, and its business is booming: the demand for … Continue reading

1947

Steinway & Sons sells over 3,000 pianos. Steinway & Sons net profit is $528,790 (a grandiose improvement, compared to all previous years under Theodore E. Steinway as company president). Steinway & Sons sells the last of William Steinway’s undeveloped land … Continue reading

1946

Steinway & Sons net profit is $233,112. Male workers having returned from the war, only 13 women remain working at Steinway & Sons. US Army Major Theodore D. “Teed” Steinway comes back from Philippines, and immediately sets out on a trip … Continue reading

1941 – 1946

All four of Theodore E. Steinway’s sons serve in the military. Theodore D. “Teed” Steinway is on general Douglas MacArthur’s intelligence staff in South Pacific (stationed sequentially in New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines), Henry Z. Steinway is serving on counterintelligence … Continue reading

1945

Steinway & Sons in New York builds 1,451 pianos: 758 uprights and 693 grands. The United Piano Workers Union demands a new wage increase. Steinway & Sons management reminds the union leaders that the workers have received the unprecedented 22.5% … Continue reading

May 28, 1945

First record of problems with bushings made of low grade felt, resulting in decreased quality of piano action, and growth of the production cost. The foreman of the action department Walter Drasche orders his department closed, until he can figure out what’s … Continue reading

May 8, 1945

Hamburg surrenders without a fight to the Allied forces. As soon as the armistice has been declared, several Steinway & Sons employees begin to serve as translators for the British military.

May 4, 1945

Paul Kuehne, Steinway & Sons’ Concert and Artists manager in Berlin, and his wife, run across Berlin to check if Steinway & Sons stores are intact. After being captured, questioned and soon released by Russians, Paul Kuehne and his wife find Steinway … Continue reading

1941 – 1945

During the war years, Steinway & Sons in the United States has sold approximately 5,000 pianos. About 50% of them go to the United States Armed Forces, and the rest, to the “approved essencial users”: religious organizations, educational institutions, hotels … Continue reading

1944

Steinway & Sons’ net loss is almost $500,000 – the biggest loss since 1933. The American branch of Steinway & Sons builds 957 upright pianos, and 462 grands. Steinway & Sons in America employs fewer than 500 people. Looking for … Continue reading

December 1944

Casket production is cancelled as unprofitable: Steinway & Sons has lost money on every casket it has made. Steinway & Sons has only enough money to support seven more weeks of work.

April 1944

Even though Theodore E. Steinway have been previously informed that CG-4A project is over, Steinway & Sons receives a third subcontract with General Aircraft Corporation, for 513 more gliders. The program, however, will be suspended within two months. (See the … Continue reading

Fall 1943

The management of General Aircraft Corporation informs Theodore E. Steinway that the glider project will soon be closed. Steinway & Sons has to find another way to remain in business, and in the meantime “stretch out the glider program until … Continue reading

June 16, 1943

Steinway & Sons receives the contract with the War Production Board to build 405 Victory Verticals (also known as ODGI – “Olive Drab Government Issue” field piano) – the military versions of the 40-inch Pianino, with no legs, celluloid keys, and soft iron … Continue reading

1942

Steinway & Sons net loss is over $150,000. Steinway & Sons builds and sells 1,454 upright pianos and 1,411 grands. Over 1,100 Steinway & Sons workers in two shifts build glider components. Steinway & Sons letterhead now includes the slogan “Wings for … Continue reading

December 29, 1942

A letter from Steinway Pianofabrik, addressed to Nazi government on that day, requests reimbursement for two company-owned grand pianos, damaged during German bombing of Warsaw. The letter is signed: “Heil Hitler! Steinway & Sons”.

July 15, 1942

Steinway & Sons’ Board of Directors considers buying “some well-known piano name as a second line for Steinway” (specifically, Vose & Sons, a small but respected Boston piano company) – and rejects the idea.

July 2, 1942

New York Times reports that the War Production Board has upgraded the restrictions on using “critical materials” – now non-military use of such materials is completely banned. Wood and metals may be used neither for building new pianos, nor for repairing … Continue reading

Spring 1942

Steinway & Sons workers quickly package the unfinished pianos and piano parts and store them in the factory basements, and Steinway & Sons becomes an aircraft-building company. General Aircraft Corporation rents one of Steinway & Sons Ditmars factory buildings, to … Continue reading

April 6, 1942

(or, by another account, August 18, 1942) – Steinway & Sons’ signs its first subcontract with Astoria-based General Aircraft Corporation, for $500,000, to build tails and wings for military transport gliders Waco CG-4A (“CG” stands for “combat glider”). This and the … Continue reading

March 20, 1942

New York Times reports a celebration held in Steinway Hall, given by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore E. Steinway, honoring the centennial of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. Leopold Stokowski, Bruno Walter, Walter Damrosch, Fritz Kreisler and the entire orchestra … Continue reading

March 4, 1942

The National Piano Manufacturers Association states that due to the government-imposed restriction on the use of materials, the entire piano industry in the United States has been reduced to using 1/8 of its material source, compared to 1940.   

March 2, 1942

The United States government imposes wartime restrictions on the use of wood and metal, rendering the serial manufacture of such materials-consuming musical instruments as pianos practically impossible.

1941

Steinway & Sons in New York builds and sells 5,601 pianos (of which number 3,406 are upright pianos, and 2,195 are grands). This is the highest number since 1926, and also Steinway & Sons’ all-time highest number of upright pianos. Steinway & … Continue reading