The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Steinway will remain Steinway, says John Paulson, the new billionaire hedge fund owner of the famed piano company. | December 27, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

Talk about branding!

Is there any piano with more prestige than Steinway, whether it is the New York branch of the family or the Hamburg branch?

Steinway Grand Piano

What aspiring serous pianist doesn’t dream of being a “Steinway’ artist” like Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Rudolf Serkin, Van Cliburn, Emanuel Ax and so many others.

But maybe you remember that in the 1970s, CBS took over the company and used such “new and improved” things as Teflon couplings that led to many problems.

So people are rightly guarded about the new Steinway owner, a billionaire manager of a hedge fund manager who would seem more concerned about making money than preserving the nitpicky artistic quality, which you can get an idea of from the YouTube video tour at the bottom that is narrated by a member of the Steinway family.

But preserving artistic quality of the handmade and painstakingly assembled Steinway piano (below top) is exactly what John Paulson (below bottom), the new owner of Steinway, vows to share, and adds that such first-rate quality is exactly why he wanted to buy the company.

steinway piano inside

john paulson

That kind of vow is the ultimate Christmas gift to pianists around the world. Makes you wonder: Does John Paulson play the pain? How well? Is he a pianophile?

Here is a link to the interview and story about Steinway that appeared on NPR:

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