Why 98% of the world's concert halls owns a Steinway concert grand piano...

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As a regular or casual concert-goer, it may not have escaped your notice: when a world-renowned pianist plays at a concert hall in Belgium or abroad, in most cases the instrument is a Steinway & Sons concert grand piano. 

Indeed, further research shows that 98% of concert halls worldwide have one or more Steinway concert grand pianos, and this at the request of 95% of the professional pianists invited to perform there.  

Now you wonder where all those other brands have gone and why there is such a strong preference for Steinway & Sons. And whether this is not at the expense of diversity in the piano landscape? 


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Well, Steinway & Sons is the founder of the modern cross-string piano as we all know it today. The first instruments were built as early as 1860, and grand pianos from this period are still played and sold today.  

The various patents, some 149 in total, were used by all other piano builders over the years, because Steinway & Sons' concept was perfectly right. The one-piece cabinet, the rigid cast-iron frame with crossed strings, the best woods and the unique diaphragmatic soundboard gave the instrument a great projection and at the same time a very full tone, without sacrificing richness of colour. So it was no wonder that all piano builders in the first half of the 20th century blindly adopted the Steinway concept and try to imitate or surpass it to this day. This confirms Steinway's authority again and again. As long as other piano builders continue to create variations on the concept developed by Steinway, pianists and concert halls will continue to opt for the power of the original.  


Celebrated by artists 

Over the past 170 years, not only Steinway & Sons has proved that they build the best piano, but especially the pianists themselves. The especially sensitive and highly reliable touch, the wide dynamic range, and the special tone of a genuine Steinway were and are praised worldwide by the artists themselves, and because of its versatility are also always cited as the standard. Steinway & Sons builds around 3,000 instruments a year in Hamburg and New York. Compared to the total production of pianos worldwide, that seems little, but it is 15 to 30 times more than other piano builders in this segment and the best proof of how beloved these instruments are.   

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Every Steinway is unique 

Diversity lies primarily in the different interpretations of the many pianists. In this sense, the instrument is a tool, which in all circumstances and with all repertoire gives the pianist the full potential to perform his varied interpretations as meticulously as possible. For this reason, pianists will often choose between several Steinway grand pianos. After all, each Steinway has its own sound. The diversity within Steinway is great and at the same time the reason why many concert halls have not one but two or three Steinway grand pianos. This allows the pianist to choose the Steinway with the best suited character for the concert. 


Much more than a name... 

Steinway is rightly synonymous with reliability, quality, security, unlimited artistic possibilities and outstanding artistic output. Even after years of use. This translates into the best value evolution over any other piano brand. The combination of high artistic demand and economic benefits, makes the choice for concert halls very easy.   


And that is why amateur pianists as well as top artists and concert halls always return to the reference in the piano landscape, because of its versatile musical qualities, high degree of finish, exceptional reliability and financial security, the Steinway & Sons grand piano.

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And what if you're still looking for an alternative to a Steinway grand piano?

Then Pianos Maene has many iconic historical instruments at its disposal in addition to the current Steinway range. These are restored and or meticulously copied at the Atelier Chris Maene, and have been for decades. Modern straight-strung grand pianos are also built: the famous Chris Maene Straight Strung Concert Grands, used by top pianists worldwide as an alternative to the modern Steinway concert grand. Finally, the Atelier Chris Maene manufactures custom-made instruments such as the innovative Maene-Viñoly Concert Grand with an ergonomic keyboard. Talking about diversity!