Steinway Hall: Center of the Piano Universe
The legacy of New York City’s Steinway Hall is long and storied. For a century and a half, the floors of Steinway Hall—which has lived in three distinct locations throughout its existence—have rung with the footsteps of some of the greatest names in piano history. They’ve also welcomed countless lesser-known artists, students, composers, teachers, parents, children, critics, researchers, technicians, and tourists. Less a physical place than a legendary essence, Steinway Hall is a mecca for anyone who loves music. It is named by pianists as the “center of the piano universe.”
East 14th Street
The first Steinway Hall was located at 71 East 14th Street between Union Square and the Academy of Music. Built in 1866, it contained an imposing gallery of showrooms for Steinway & Sons pianos, but most impressively, it also featured a 2,000 seat concert hall and soon became one of the key centers for classical music in the city. It was home to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for a quarter century, from 1866 until Carnegie Hall was opened in 1891. It was also the site for many historic musical and non-musical performances, including readings from Charles Dickens. Anton Rubinstein’s celebrated concert at the Steinway Hall was played to an astounding 3,000 guests, many of them standing. By the 1920’s times and needs had changed, and the company opted to close the doors of the old Steinway Hall in favor of a new showroom that was to serve a different purpose.
West 57th Street
Built in 1925, the Steinway & Sons showroom at 109 West 57th Street was Steinway’s New York City home until 2014. The glorious Beaux Arts building saw the most renowned piano artists of all time walk through its doors, many to play in the upstairs concert hall, and many more to select performance instruments from the famed piano bank in the basement. In this Steinway Hall, Vladimir Horowitz and Sergei Rachmaninoff famously met and practiced together, and over its nine decades of service to the piano world the 57th Street Steinway Hall welcomed regular visits from the likes of Arthur Rubinstein, Van Cliburn, Judy Collins, Lang Lang, Billy Joel, Evgeny Kissin, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick, Jr. Countless performances took place in both the glamorous upstairs recital hall and the glittering domed reception room. By 2014, the next chapter in the Hall’s great history was being written to adapt to changes in the way artists and listeners interact with the storied Steinway brand.
Avenue of the Americas
In 2015, Steinway Hall embarked on a new legacy in a new location, where Steinway’s legendary instruments continue to make their mark on musical history. The third Steinway Hall is currently under construction at 1133 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue). It will open in late 2015 and will be a next-generation showroom worthy of both the legacy it protects and the future it is poised to launch. Changes in the world’s technology have brought changes in the way piano music is created, shared, learned, and celebrated. Steinway & Sons is very proud to be in the process of building the third generation of its flagship showroom, a Steinway Hall imbued with beauty, innovation, and history.
For much of 2015, our retail operations in New York City will be housed in an interim location to continue to serve the needs of our customers and artists. Our temporary location is located at 1155 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), between West 44th and West 45th Streets. It is a large, beautiful showroom featuring a wide selection of Steinway & Sons, Boston, and Essex pianos, as well as a recital room.
To buy, rent, or service a Steinway piano, please call 212-246-1100 or drop in to the new location.