Steinway & Sons is a legendary piano maker producing high-quality pianos for over 160 years. The company has a well-deserved reputation for creating some of the finest pianos in the world. Many regard Steinway instruments to be the gold standard in the industry. So, how much does a Steinway Grand piano cost?
Let’s explore the history of Steinway and Sons and Steinway Grand piano costs.
Table of Contents
- 1 History of Steinway Grand Piano
- 2 Steinway Price
- 3 What Makes Steinway Grand Piano Expensive
- 4 Where to Buy Steinway Grand Piano?
- 5 Is it Worth Purchasing a Steinway Grand Piano?
- 6 Final Thought
History of Steinway Grand Piano
Steinway & Sons company was founded in 1853 in New York City by German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, who later changed his name to Henry E. Steinway. The company’s first piano, made in 1853, was a grand piano that quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional sound and craftsmanship.
In the following years, Steinway continued to innovate and refine its grand pianos, introducing new technologies and materials that helped improve the instruments’ sound and playability. In 1862, Steinway received the gold medal for piano manufacturing at the International Exhibition in London, cementing the company’s reputation as a leader in the piano industry.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Steinway continued to produce some of the most sought-after grand pianos in the world. Many world-renowned musicians of the day favored the company’s instruments, including Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.
In the 20th century, Steinway expanded its operations to other parts of the world, opening factories in Hamburg, Germany, and Queens, New York.
Steinway grand pianos are still handmade by skilled artisans who carefully select and shape the materials used to construct the instruments. Each piano is a work of art, with a unique sound and personality from the skilled hands that crafted it.
Steinway remains one of the world’s most respected and revered piano makers, known for its commitment to excellence in craftsmanship and sound.
The price of a Steinway grand piano varies widely depending on several factors, including the model, age, condition, and location of the piano.
New Steinway grand pianos generally range from $70,000 to $250,000. More specifically, it starts at around $70,000 for the baby grand models and can go up to several hundred thousand dollars for larger or more ornate models.
The price of a used Steinway grand piano will depend on the age and condition of the instrument. Older Steinway pianos can be pretty valuable, mainly if they are in good condition and have been well-maintained. A used Steinway grand piano in good condition from the 1960s or 1970s might sell for anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000, depending on the model and other conditions.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the price of a Steinway grand piano is to work with a reputable piano dealer who can assess the instrument’s value based on its unique characteristics and condition.
Popular Models and Price Ranges
Below is some general information about popular Steinway grand piano models and their estimated prices based on historical data.
The most miniature grand piano in the Steinway lineup. Despite its small size, the Model S delivers a rich, full-bodied sound characteristic of the Steinway sound. It is famous for those who want a high-quality piano that can fit in smaller spaces.
5′ 1″ (155 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$70,000 to $85,000
A medium-sized baby grand piano. The Model M is known for its warm, rich tone and responsive touch. It is a versatile piano that can be used in various settings, from small concert halls to home practice rooms.
5′ 7″ (170 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$90,000 to $110,000
A large baby grand piano with a length of almost 6 feet. The Model O is prized for its clear, bell-like tone and smooth, even touch. It is popular for those who want a high-quality piano that is easy to play and fits into modest spaces.
5′ 10″ (178 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$90,000 to $120,000
Model A is renowned for producing a “grand” tone in a medium-sized instrument. The tone exudes strength and warmth, facilitated by the design that permits the solid spruce soundboard to vibrate freely and efficiently, similar to its larger counterparts.
6′ 2″ (188 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$110,000 to $140,000
One of Steinway’s most popular grand piano models favored by many famous pianists. The instrument exhibits exceptional balance and versatility. It is also an excellent fit for a teaching studio or mid-sized venue.
6′ 11″ (211 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$150,000 to $180,000
Steinway’s flagship grand piano is the “Concert Grand.” It is featured in many prestigious concert halls worldwide.
8′ 11″ (274 cm)
Estimated Price (US$)
$180,000 to $250,000
It’s important to note that these estimated prices are subject to change based on a variety of factors, including the piano’s age, condition, and location. The best way to get an accurate price for a specific Steinway grand piano is to consult with a reputable piano dealer or appraiser.
What Makes Steinway Grand Piano Expensive
The Steinway grand piano is considered one of the finest and most prestigious pianos in the world, and it is also one of the most expensive. Several characteristics, such as material, handcraftsmanship, and innovation, contribute to its high costs.
Quality of Materials
Steinway pianos are made from the finest quality materials, including –
- Solid spruce soundboards
- Hand-selected maple and mahogany woods for the frame and case
- High-grade wool for the hammers
These materials are expensive and require skilled craftsmanship to produce the desired sound and action.
Handcrafted Manufacturing Process
Each Steinway grand piano is meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans, with every component carefully designed and tested to ensure the highest level of precision and quality. This process is time-consuming and requires high skill and expertise, which adds to the cost.
The carefully selected solid spruce soundboard is the heart of the piano. The piano craftsman hand shapes the soundboard to ensure the best possible sound.
Rim and Case
The rim and case of the piano include multiple layers of hard rock maple and mahogany veneer. The piano makers hand glue the layers together and then shape them using specialized tools.
The plate of the piano is made from cast iron and designed to withstand the immense pressure of the piano strings. The plate is cast in a particular foundry and then finished by hand to ensure a perfect fit.
Bridges and Strings
The carefully shaped bridges are the wooden components holding the strings. The strings are also hand-wound to ensure the best possible sound.
The action of the piano is the mechanism that transfers the movement of the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. The action includes hundreds of individual parts. Each part is carefully crafted by hand and fitted together to create a smooth and responsive touch.
The finishing process is meticulous and involves sanding, staining, and polishing the piano’s case to create a beautiful and durable finish. The finish is applied by hand in multiple coats, with each coat allowed to dry and be sanded before the next is applied.
Research and Development
Steinway has been in the piano-making business for over 150 years, and the company has invested heavily in research and development to improve its pianos’ sound and performance. The high cost of Steinway pianos reflected the ongoing investment in innovation and improvement.
Overall, the combination of high-quality materials, handcrafted manufacturing, and investment in research and development played a part in the price of Steinway grand pianos.
Where to Buy Steinway Grand Piano?
Authorized Steinway dealerships and showrooms sell Steinway grand pianos. These dealerships are located in major cities around the world and offer a range of Steinway grand pianos, including new and used ones. The dealerships also provide expert advice, demonstrations, and after-sales support to ensure that customers get the best possible experience when purchasing a Steinway piano.
To find an authorized Steinway dealership or showroom near you, you can visit the Steinway & Sons website and use the “Dealer Locator” tool. Simply enter your location, and the tool will provide a list of authorized dealerships in your area.
It’s worth noting that Steinway grand pianos are high-end instruments and can be quite expensive. Before making a purchase, it’s essential to do your research and understand your needs and budget. You should also take the time to try out different Steinway pianos and get advice from experts to ensure that you choose the best instrument for your needs.
Is it Worth Purchasing a Steinway Grand Piano?
Whether or not a Steinway grand piano is worth purchasing depends on several factors, including your playing level, budget, and musical goals.
Suppose you are a professional pianist or a serious musician who is looking for a high-end instrument with unparalleled sound quality and touch. In that case, a Steinway grand piano may be a rewarding investment. Steinway pianos are some of the best pianos in the world, and many of the world’s top pianists and musicians use them.
However, Steinway grand pianos can be costly and not within everyone’s budget. Considering a less expensive piano may be more practical if you are on a tight budget. Many excellent pianos are available at lower price points that can still provide good sound quality and performance.
Additionally, a Steinway grand piano may not be the best choice if you are a beginner or an intermediate player. As a beginner, you may not yet have the skills to appreciate a Steinway piano’s superior sound and touch fully. A less expensive piano may be a better option until you reach a higher level of proficiency.
It’s important to note that the price of a Steinway piano is not just about the cost of materials and manufacturing. It also reflects the company’s reputation for excellence and the quality of the instrument’s sound and craftsmanship. Many musicians consider a Steinway piano to be the ultimate expression of musical artistry and are willing to pay a premium for an instrument that meets their needs.
A high-quality Steinway grand piano can be a worthwhile investment if you are a professional or serious musician with a high budget. However, if you are on a tight budget or a beginner or intermediate player, then other pianos may provide a better value for your money.
Whether in a concert hall or a private home, a Steinway grand piano is a symbol of musical excellence and a testament to the enduring legacy of one of the greatest piano makers in history.