Twenty Steinway and Sons grand pianos specially to commemorate the celebration of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra's 140th anniversary will be released from 2020 to 2021.
Renowned pianist Martha Argerich played at SSO earlier this year using the third Steinway piano the orchestra bought in 2010. (Photos provided to China Daily)
This is the first time the 166-year-old piano company from the US has crafted customized products for an orchestra. The unprecedented collaboration is "a tribute to the long and brilliant history of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, as well as a celebration of a partnership dedicated to a new centennial of good work", said Wei Wei, the Asian Pacific Head of Steinway and Sons.
Piano designers from the company made repeated visits to the music hall of SSO, revising the design five times before the final version was created.
One of the pianos will be kept by the SSO, while the others will be made available for sale to the public. According to Zhou Ping, director of the orchestra, SSO will invite members of the public to the music hall to try their hands at the new piano.
The first Steinway piano owned by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
SSO acquired its first Steinway piano in 1921 when conductor Mario Paci traveled to Europe to buy musical instruments for the Shanghai Public Band, the predecessor of SSO. The orchestra bought its second Steinway grand piano in 1983, and its third in 2010.