From:   The Steinway Company
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Source:
http://www.steinway.com/noteworthy/news/historic_piano_exhibit122503.shtml

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LEGENDARY PIANO MAKER STEINWAY & SONS TO KICK-OFF HISTORIC PIANO EXHIBIT AS PART OF 150TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

"15 Decades" Exhibit to Span 150 Years of Steinway Pianos; Historical "Submarine" Piano from U.S.S. Thomas A. Edison to be Displayed

NEW YORK (December 25, 2003) Steinway & Sons, renowned for creating the world's finest pianos, is continuing its "150th Anniversary Celebration," sponsored by Chrysler, with an historic piano exhibit spanning 150 years of the Steinway piano. The "15 Decades" exhibit consists of 18 distinctive Steinway pianos representative of the 15 decades in the company's sesquicentennial history. Grands and uprights will be represented, as well as historically significant instruments like the "Submarine" Steinway piano from the U.S.S. Thomas A. Edison. The exhibit will initially be on display at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Westport, Connecticut.

"Our 150th anniversary serves as a perfect opportunity to celebrate the Steinway legacy with a piano retrospective chronicling our history right alongside American history," said Henry Z. Steinway, great grandson of the founder. "From the Civil War through the Great Depression in the 1930's to the flourishing 1990's, Steinway & Sons pianos have endured, serving as a source of comfort and entertainment. This is a testament to the piano-making standards my grandfather established in 1853 and it is thrilling to see this rich history come to life through this exceptional exhibit."

The "15 Decades" exhibit will present a sampling of the company's wide array of piano models, styles and veneers. The most notable of pianos that will be on display is the "Submarine" Steinway piano, fondly given that name due to its presence on the U.S.S. Edison, a nuclear powered submarine, in service from 1961 to 1986. Upon the request of the ship's construction captain, the piano was installed before the hull over the control room was sealed, making it the first and only piano ever to be installed on a U.S. submarine. The piano remained on board the Thomas A. Edison until the submarine was declassified in October 1986 and the piano was then sent to the Naval Museum in Washington D.C. It was rediscovered after a 1992 crew reunion within two weeks from being destroyed. Crewmembers, who credit the piano as a source of enjoyment and inspiration during difficult times, were so passionate about the instrument that they rallied together to ensure that the "Submarine" Steinway piano met a more favorable fate.

The connection to the namesake of the ship is particularly poignant, as Thomas A. Edison wrote a letter to Steinway & Sons in June of 1890 stating that he wanted to purchase a Steinway piano because, "for some reason unknown to [him]," it gave better results than any others he had tried. In fact, a Steinway & Sons piano was used to make the first successful sound recording at Edison's New Jersey laboratory.

Additional pianos that will be part of the "15 Decades" exhibit range from a rosewood "square" grand piano that was manufactured in 1858, just five years after Steinway & Sons was founded, to the Tricentennial Limited Edition ebony model "A" piano that was created in 2000 for the 300th anniversary of the invention of the piano. Other noteworthy pianos include the limited edition "Aspen" piano, which utilizes marquetry - a technique of creating pictures with a variety of woods - to depict Aspen Festival's leaf motif for their 50th anniversary in 1999 and the beloved "G.I." vertical piano which was used to entertain U.S. troops in the 1940's.

The "15 Decades" exhibit is open to the public free of charge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 12 pm to 2 pm, on Thursday between 5 pm to 7 pm and on Sundays from 1 pm to 3 pm. Additional opportunities are available by appointment. Select pianos of the collection will be available for purchase. The Steinway Piano Gallery of Westport is located at 501 Post Road East. For further information, please contact the Steinway Piano Gallery of Westport directly at (203) 227-8222.

Steinway & Sons was founded on March 5, 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway and his sons in New York City, one of the major centers of the piano-making industry in North America at that time. Henry, a master piano-maker, built his first piano in the kitchen of his home in Germany. Over the next forty years, Henry and his sons developed the modern piano, patenting the most significant technologies in the piano industry.

Legendary pianists such as George Gershwin, Josef Hofmann, Vladimir Horowitz, Ignace Jan Paderewski, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein, as well as prominent contemporary pianists such as Martha Argerich, Alfred Brendel, Van Cliburn, Harry Connick, Jr., Ahmad Jamal, Billy Joel, Diana Krall, Ramsey Lewis, Dr. Billy Taylor, and Roger Williams are among the artists who have graced the distinguished worldwide roster of Steinway artists.

Steinway & Sons, headquartered in Astoria, New York, produces the world's finest pianos. Steinway pianos are sold by nearly 200 authorized dealers worldwide. The company's corporate parent is Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc., which also owns Conn-Selmer, the nation's leading manufacturer of orchestra and band instruments.


Sources:

http://www.steinway.com/noteworthy/news/historic_piano_exhibit122503.shtml

http://www.steinway.com/noteworthy/news/historic_piano_exhibit.shtml

The "15 Decades" exhibit is open to the public free of charge on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m, on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Steinway & Sons Westbury Piano Gallery is located at The Mall at The Source, 1504 Old Country Road in Westbury, NY. Select pianos will be available for sale. For further information, please contact the Steinway & Sons Westbury Piano Gallery directly at (516) 512-0100.

EXCERPT

The most notable of pianos that will be on display is the "Submarine" Steinway piano, fondly given that name due to its presence on the U.S.S. Edison, a nuclear powered submarine, in service from 1961 to 1986. Upon the request of the ship's construction captain, the piano was installed before the hull over the control room was sealed, making it the first and only piano ever to be installed on a U.S. submarine. The piano remained on board the Thomas A. Edison until the submarine was declassified in October 1986 and the piano was then sent to the Naval Museum in Washington D.C. It was rediscovered after a 1992 crew reunion within two weeks from being destroyed. Crewmembers, who credit the piano as a source of enjoyment and inspiration during difficult times, were so passionate about the instrument that they rallied together to ensure that the "Submarine" Steinway piano met a more favorable fate.