Steinway’s “Most Significant Product Innovation In Over 70 years” To Make Its NZ Debut

March 21, 2018
1 min read

If you’re a piano person and live in Auckland you’ll want to check this out: Steinway’s new $270,000 player piano is being hailed as game changing.

We all know of the exalted reputation of Steinway & Sons pianos, but the company claims to raise the bar with its new Steinway Spirio.

The two models of Steinway Spirio – valued at $225,000 and $270,000 respectively – launch in the New Zealand market on April 11 with an event featuring pianist Jason Bae.

It’s not clear whether Bae will actually perform, or play a duet, or simply pretend to play, because the Steinway Spirio can do it all for him.

Yep, the Spirio is a player piano, and although player pianos have been around in one form or another since 1876, and many electronic keyboards can now emulate performance to some degree or other, Steinway & Sons claims that the Spirio grand piano takes it all to a whole new level.

Steinway’s blurb notes that the pianos are “a masterpiece of artistry and engineering. Spirio pianos enable the listener to lose themselves in magnificent pre-recorded performances played with nuance, power and passion. Spirio is utterly indistinguishable from live performance.”

Presumably NZ pianist Jason Bae has been chosen to introduce the Spirio here because it’s his recordings of several pieces that grace the player piano, including Puccini/Mikhashoff’s ‘Portrait Of Madame Butterfly’, Britten/Stevenson’s ‘Peter Grimes Fantasy’ and Rachmaninov’s ‘Moment Musicaux No. 4 Op 16’.

Bae’s performances join a catalogue of new music featuring a massive roster of Steinway artists performing a wide range of genres. All pieces in the catalogue are recorded, edited and released in high resolution, using a proprietary data format that captures the very finest details of each artist’s performance. There are more than 1700 hours of music in the Spirio collection.

“Steinway Spirio connects the listener and the artist as only the world’s finest piano can,” says Darren Marshall, chief marketing officer for Steinway & Sons. “Steinway Spirio technology has been engineered to meet our highest standards while creating a truly unique listening experience for all music enthusiasts, regardless of their own piano playing skills.”

Not only is Spirio able to reperform artists’ live performances, its unique technology enables it to simultaneously play the music with the performance video on the dedicated iPad app, producing a comprehensive live experience.

The launch event will take place on April 11 at Auckland’s Orange Coronation Hall.

Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

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