The New Steinway Hall Opens In New York
...a contemporary showcase for pianos with a distinguished heritage and provides a venue where customers can experience and select a piano. In addition, the 19,000-square-foot facility houses Steinway’s concert and artist pianos.
Steinway Hall has been designed to create a cultural landmark in New York City and support the brand’s position as a leading ambassador for the musical arts. Totaling 19,000 square feet, the new flagship will not only serve as a retail space, but also house a 74-seat recital hall with a state-of-the-art custom Steinway Lyngdorf sound system, live-streaming capabilities that will allow musicians and audiences from around the world to connect, rehearsal studios for artists and students, a recording studio where performances for the new Steinway Spirio will be captured, and the fabled Steinway & Sons Concert & Artist Piano Bank. Glass walls on three sides of the new showroom make pianos visible to pedestrians on busy 6th Avenue and create what management describes as a “more welcoming, and less intimidating” environment.
According to Michael Sweeney, CEO of Steinway & Sons, “This is only the third Steinway Hall to be built in New York over the past 163 years, so there was an inherent desire to create something truly special that will become an exciting new part of the company’s history and the history of this city.” Sweeney adds, “This is more than a beautiful showroom where one can buy an extraordinary instrument. The new Steinway Hall will be a convivial gathering place where artists come together to collaborate, and where the public can meet to enjoy a wide range of musical programming that continues our tradition of celebrating arts and culture.”
The first Steinway Hall opened in 1864 on 14th Street, a little over ten years after the Steinway family had begun building pianos. In 1925, the company opened an expanded 16-story “Hall” on 57th Street, adjacent to Carnegie Hall and outfitted with an elegant rotunda for showcasing pianos. The 57th Street building served as Steinway’s New York home until two years ago when a shifting New York City real estate market necessitated a move. What remains of the original 57th Street building will serve as the lobby for a 100-story apartment building, currently under construction. Some units in the building are priced at $100 million.
Annabelle Selldorf, principal of Selldorf Architects, states, “Working with Steinway & Sons in New York City has been a great experience and a privilege for us. The task was to translate the passion and care that the company devotes to building instruments of the highest quality into a space which also broadens their reach and their welcoming attitude in the city. We designed a new home for Steinway that is inviting for everyone whether they come to listen to a recital, purchase a piano or record in the studio, and even for those who are just passing by along Avenue of the Americas. I believe that we have created an extraordinary destination for music that embodies Steinway & Sons’ heritage of excellence and craftsmanship.”
Inside Steinway Hall, guests will find many details that reference the materials, craftsmanship, and instruments that the company is lauded for, from end-grain oak flooring to recital hall seats covered in an Imperial Yellow fabric that is the same color found inside the action of a Steinway & Sons piano. Other features include a custom bentwood decorative ceiling and acoustic paneling in the concert hall that evokes the exquisite woods used to make each Steinway.
An artistic centerpiece of the new Steinway & Sons New York will be an installation by the artist Spencer Finch. Titled Newton’s Theory of Color and Music (The Goldberg Variations), the work is an interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations that explores the intersection of music, color, and emotion, through light.
An additional 20,000 square feet of office space on the 33rd floor of the building has also been leased from the Durst Organization to serve as Steinway & Sons’ global headquarters, bringing the Steinway Hall project to nearly 40,000 square feet in total.
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