|Knowing the fair market value of Steinway pianos is useful to sellers, buyers and owners.
This information can help guide you in making important decisions.
STEINWAY & SONS
One Steinway Place
Long Island City, New York 11105
718-721-2600 / 800-366-1853
Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg Sr. built his first piano in 1825 in Seesen, Germany. By 1839 he had exhibited his
pianos in state fairs, establishing his reputation as a piano builder before emigrating to the USA with his wife and
children in 1850. The Steineweg family decided to “Americanize” their name to Steinway when they arrived in New
York. After first working for other companies, learning the piano business in America, he and his sons established
Steinway & Sons in 1853. In 1866 Steinway Hall opened to become the center of New York culture until Carnegie
Hall was unveiled in 1891. In 1880 Steinway built a factory in Hamburg, Germany. Within a short time, their
innovative design patents that included instruments with stronger frames, more powerful scales and sound, and
responsive actions, revolutionized the piano. By about the 1880s, their grand piano design was essentially what
the modern piano is to this day. By the 1960s, the fourth generation of the Steinway family had neither any heirs
willing to run the business, nor the capital required for modernization and new equipment. They eventually sold
the company to CBS Inc. in 1972. CBS realized that it was out of their realm of expertise to run and operate a
piano business, so they sold the company in 1985 to an investment group that consisted of people with various
backgrounds in marketing, management, finance and law who formed Steinway Musical Properties. Ten years
later in 1995, the company was sold again to Selmer Industries, a large manufacturer of brass and woodwind
instruments, the combined company forming Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. In 2013 hedge fund firm,
Paulson & Co., purchased Steinway. Paulson committed to not changing any of Steinway’s
manufacturing methods or quality standards.
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