Steinway & Sons, also known as Steinway Listeni/ˈstaɪnweɪ/, is an American and German piano company, founded in 1853 in Manhattan, New York City by German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later known as Henry E. Steinway). The company’s growth led to the opening of a factory in Queens, New York City and a factory in Hamburg, Germany. The factory in New York City supplies the Americas and the factory in Hamburg supplies the rest of the world.
Steinway is a prominent piano company, known for making pianos of high quality and for its influential inventions within the area of piano development. The company’s share of the high-end grand piano market consistently exceeds 80 percent. Its status as the world’s elite piano manufacturer has been secured in part because of the success of marketing strategies such as the Steinway Artist program, which was invented in the 1870s by William Steinway, a son of the company founder. Steinway uses a multi-pronged strategy and the keystone of the Steinway strategy was and remains quality. The company holds a royal warrant of appointment to Queen Elizabeth II.
Steinway pianos have been recognized with numerous awards. One of the first was a gold medal won in 1855 – two years after the company’s foundation – at the American Institute Fair at the New York Crystal Palace. From 1855 to 1862 Steinway pianos received 35 gold medals. Several awards and recognitions followed, including 3 medals at the International Exposition of 1867 in Paris. Steinway has been granted 126 patents in piano making; the first patent was achieved in 1857.
Steinway pianos are handcrafted at the factories in New York City and Hamburg. In addition to the flagship Steinway piano line, Steinway markets two less expensive brands of piano sold under the secondary brand names Boston and Essex. The Boston brand is for the mid-level market and the Essex brand is for the entry-level market. Boston and Essex pianos are designed in the United States. To take advantage of lower costs of part production and labor, they are made in Asia at non-Steinway factories under the supervision of Steinway employees.