Steinway Model B Grand Piano (Hamburg)
Since 1853 the Steinway & Sons brand has been associated with building and designing some of the worlds best pianos. Steinway can trace its roots back to 1835 when it started as the Grotrian-Steinweg company in Germany. In 1850 Theodore Steinweg (Steinway) decided to immigrate to the United States. When Steinway first started building pianos in 1853 they were one of thousands of small piano manufactures in the North East. It wasn’t long until they started winning awards for their innovative piano designs. At first Steinway focused on the North America market which at the time was growing rapidly. In 1880 a member of the Steinway family moved back to Germany and started the Hamburg branch to compete with their old colleagues at the Grotrian-Steinweg factory.
The Hamburg Steinway factory at first was considered an extension of the New York factory. The production was much smaller, and the main management of the company still resided in New York. During World War II production ceased as the factory was utilized for the war effort. Starting in the 1950’s the Hamburg Steinway factory started to produce better quality instruments. By the 1970’s their pianos were already considered a better product than those produced in New York. This became a big problem for the company and created a lot of debate among musicians and piano experts. For a very short period of time in the 1980’s Hamburg Steinway decided to start sending some of the large instruments such as the Steinway Model B to Canada. After a while they realized that this was putting pressure on the factory in New York.
The Hamburg Steinway Model B today is rated as one of the top 5 pianos in the world by technicians and experts. Some of the other pianos that are often compared to the Hamburg Steinway Model B include the Mason and Hamlin BB, Shigeru Kawai SK6, Bosendorfer 214, and Fazioli F212. The Piano Book by Larry Fine is one source that considers these in the top category. The Hamburg Steinway Model B sells new for over $100,000 and is currently only availalbe in the European and Asian markets. The NY Steinway Model B is also a great choice at almost $30,000 less than the Hamburg.
This 1898 Hamburg Steinway Model B was completely rebuilt by MERRIAM pianos. This piano features a new soundboard, bridges, pin block, action, and all other components, but still uses the original frame, rim, and scaling. This piano was originally purchased in Switzerland in the ealry 1900’s and was brought here after World War II. It’s rare to find a Hamburg Steinway Model B in Canada.
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