Steinway Concert Grand
Serial # 154447 built in 1911 in Hamburg, Germany
Completely rebuilt by Cantabile Piano Art in 2001-2002 (Yonkers, NY)
Being sold by Steinway Artist, John G. Elliott
This is not only a beautiful looking piano, but it is a marvelous instrument to play. I used it to record an entire CD in 2010. If you want to hear how fantastic it sounds, you may find the recording “Radiance” by John G. Elliott online. I was endorsed as a Steinway Artist in 2004. (See the Steinway website for a listing of artists on the International Roster of Steinway Artists.) I am retiring from recording and we are down-sizing – plus I have another piano for personal use.
An Amazing History
I found this piano in January 2001 in Cluj, Romania. This piano has survived World Wars I & II along with Communist Occupation of Romania. The dealer plate is found on the inside rim. Ehall (Piano Dealer) at VI Andrassy-UT 15 Iem.1, Budapest (present day Hungary) (see photos)
At the Steinway Factory in Hamburg, Germany, the piano technician who built the action signed his name “Hans Mueller” in beautiful calligraphy on the center rail of the action. He also dated the completion of his work: “31 of December, 1911”. Assuming that the piano was completed on New Year’s Eve of 1911 and sent to Budapest to the dealership, it is entirely possible that the piano sold in the Springtime of 1912 around the time The Titanic sank in the northern Atlantic.
To find a concert grand made in Rosewood is a rare thing. When I first saw the piano in Romania, someone had painted the exterior in black paint. I did not realize it was Rosewood until I was informed by the technicians at Cantabile Piano Art in Yonkers, NY.
After I had paid the former owners, they told me some facts about the piano through a translator. They said that the famous virtuoso Ignacy Jan Paderewski had played this same piano in concert in Cluj, Romania in the 1920’s. Based on their age, these people would have been alive at the time of the concert. I believed their story because they waited to tell me after they had been paid – they had no reason to fabricate a tale. See picture and article below on Paderewski.
Apparently, Paderewski had a fondness for Rosewood pianos. There were only a handful of Rosewood Concert Grands (Model D) made. They became known as “Paderewski Pianos.”
As a Steinway Artist myself, I can testify that this particular piano sounds and plays beautifully. The sound has actually improved as the soundboard has aged for nearly 20 years. Indeed, it is incredible. If you are interested, I can mail you a CD of this piano as recorded in 2010.
(1860-1941) Born in Kuryłówka (now Kurilivka, Ukraine), Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a virtuoso pianist, a notable composer, a remarkably successful politician and an exceptionally generous philanthropist. Although discouraged by his teachers from becoming a pianist, his brilliant artistic career was launched with his spectacular 1888 Paris debut, after which Paderewski literally swept the world with his playing and his dynamic personality.
In 1932 American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt called him a “Modern Immortal” and, two years later in a book written by Charles Phillips, The Story of a Modern Immortal, we read in the introduction that, “It is difficult to write of Paderewski without emotion. Statesman, orator, pianist and composer, he is a superlative man, and his genius transcends that of anyone I have ever known. Those of us who love Poland are glad that she can claim him as a son, but let her always remember that Ignace Jan Paderewski belongs to all mankind.”
Admired for his music…
He inspired artists, poets, painters and composers. The most famous portrait of him is by Sir Edward Byrne-Jones, who accidentally passed him on the street one day. He went home to explain that he had seen an archangel and started sketching from memory. A few days later Paderewski was brought into his studio whereupon the artist shouted, ” You are my archangel!” In two hours he completed the portrait.
Richard Gilder, editor of Century Magazine, composed a poem, “How Paderewski Plays,” and American poet John H. Finley addressed the following lines to him:
Your touch has been transmuted into sound
As perfect as an orchid or a rose,
True as a mathematic formula
Yet full of color as an evening sky.
But there’s a symphony that you’ve evoked
From out of the hearts of men, more wonderful
Than you have played upon your instrument…
Submitted by John G. Elliott (owner)
Steinway Artist, International Roster