Announcing the Long Awaited Restoration of our 1940 Steinway Grand Piano!
Studio 770 is happy to announce the long awaited reconstruction of our 1940 Steinway grand piano! Keep a look out for updates regarding the refurbishment process along the way and its upcoming debut post-refurbishment.
Henry E. Steinway, born on February 22, 1797 by the name Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, was a German immigrant that moved to New York City in 1850. On March 5th 1853, Heinrich E. Steinweg founded the well known and esteemed piano company, Steinway & Sons. Mr. Steinweg's piano building legacy began in his own kitchen while he was still living in Germany. Steinweg secretly constructed his first pianoforte in the kitchen of his home in 1836 as a gift for his wife and is now referred to as the "Kitchen" piano. This piano is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Steinway & Sons has gone from selling 74 pianos a year in 1854 to producing around 2,500 a year today. Continue reading to learn more about a piece of Mr. Steinweg's legacy that lives on within the walls of Studio 770.
Studio 770’s Steinway Grand was built in New York in 1940. From 1915 to 1945, Steinway manufactured this extended size (6’4”) which is referred to as a Model A-3, A-III or A-Stretch. It is considered to be comparable to what has been dubbed the ‘perfect piano’, the Steinway Model B. The A-III was more affordable, more manageable in size and produced a sound and power that was most definitely on par with the 6’11” Model B.
In 1945 the Model A-III was discontinued by Steinway New York. Reliable rumors indicate that production ceased due to the competition it created for the larger and more expensive Model B. Many consider the Model A-III to be one of the finest scale designs that Steinway ever produced, with it being a “7’ piano in a 6’4” package.”
In 1976, this piano was purchased by Shantih in Miami, Florida. Shantih had chosen this piano out of close to 50 grand pianos, old and new, ranging in size from 5’2” to the 9’ Model D. This particular A-III had a sound that surpassed them all. Being 36 years in age, the piano at that time had been partially restored with larger (#4) pins, instead of the original (#1) size pins. With over 20 tons of string pressure on the pins, they eventually loosen and either the pins are replaced with larger, tighter fitting pins or the wooded pin block must be replaced to accommodate the original size pins. It has now been 47 years since those larger pins were installed, not to mention the strings were last replaced at that time.
If you are at all familiar with this piano, you must agree that it's tone and power of this piano is still unrivaled by most. With that said, the slipping of the #4 pins requires constant tuning, which will be alleviated by this restoration project. We will be installing Mapes custom strings which will enrich the already robust low end of the piano. The new pin block will once again have the original size pins, and the soundboard will have some minor cracks repaired and be re-lacquered. The cast iron frame (or “harp”) will be repainted with all new bolts and felts. Overall, this amazing instrument will have a more stable sound with more definition in the low end. We are not only looking forward to this long awaited restoration, we are excited to share the process along the way and invite everyone to take it for a test drive when it returns.
People often times think of piano-making as an artisan craft, however since the late 19th century there has been a major shift in the industry that has taken the small artisanal workshops and moved them to an industrial manufacturing direction. There are now very few companies that still retain the integrity of the handmade craft that is piano making.
Studio 770 is fortunate enough to have secured an expert in this field, one of the best in the country, to apply his expertise of this dying artisanal craft. Our Steinway grand is set to depart from the studio on May 1st 2023, and we happily await as new life is restored to one of our most prized possessions.
In the meantime, keep up with our piano's journey here on our blog for updates on its reconstruction process!