September 23, 2021
STEINWAY & SONS LAUNCHES THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL LIMITED EDITION
To celebrate 150 years of the Royal Albert Hall and raise funds for one of the world’s great concert venues
London, 23 September 2021
To celebrate 150 years of the Royal Albert Hall,
Steinway & Sons has created the ‘Steinway Royal Albert Hall Limited Edition’ grand piano, which was launched during an intimate concert by Steinway Artists Igor Levit and Aisa Ajiri, and hosted by saxophonist Jess Gillam, at the iconic concert hall on 23 September.
The company will donate a generous portion from the sale of the special edition pianos directly to the Hall, a registered charity that has been plunged into financial crisis by the pandemic. The partnership will also include a new concert series – The Steinway Series – dedicated to promoting up-and-coming musicians, which kicks off on 19 November 2021. Taking place in the Elgar Room, the series will be starring exceptional artists from the worlds of classical music and jazz, including Elisabeth Brauß, Niji Adeleye, Amiri Harewood and Roella Oloro.
Until the end of 2022, the Hall is marking its 150th anniversary, with a special programme of events including major commissions from British artists, headline performances from musical legends, and a series of showcases promoting the next generation of talent.
Guido Zimmermann, President Steinway & Sons Europe, said: “We are very proud of our relationship with the Royal Albert Hall and have created an exceptionally designed instrument in honour of its 150th celebration year. It has been such a challenging time for the entire music community all over the world, but with the Hall back in business it seems a fantastic and fitting way to commemorate the occasion. We look forward to our partnership becoming ever closer, spreading the joy for music for all.”
Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching this partnership with one of the most respected names in international music. Like the Hall, Steinway has a reputation for promoting artistic excellence and nurturing young talent. The past 18 months has been the most difficult period in the Hall’s history, but initiatives like this will help this beloved venue get back on its feet, while supporting up-and-coming musicians who, like all of us, have been so badly affected by the pandemic.”
Crafted in the company’s Hamburg factory, the Steinway Royal Albert Hall Limited Edition took more than 18 months to design and create.
It features a hand-engraved outline of the Grade I listed Hall – one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings – on the exterior of the piano lid. Inside there is an etching outlining the glass and iron dome roofing of the Hall, with additional nods to the building’s iconic shape on the music desk and numbered brass plate. There is just one Model D concert grand in the limited edition series – the pinnacle of concert grands – along with seven model B classic grand pianos, often referred to by pianists as the ‘perfect piano’.
Each instrument in the Royal Albert Hall limited edition incorporates the revolutionary
Spirio | r recording and self-playing technology, which enables pianists to record, edit, playback, search and save their performances in Steinway’s proprietary high-resolution format.
Nine out of ten concert pianists play on a Steinway. Steinway continues to honour the greatest concert halls worldwide with exceptionally designed limited edition grand pianos. The Royal Albert Hall Limited Edition is the third Steinway concert Hall dedicated limited edition, with the first being created for The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in 2018 (limited to 8) and the second in 2019 for The Shanghai Concert Hall (limited to 20).
Countless Steinway Artists have headlined the Royal Albert Hall during the venue’s 150-year history, including Martha Argerich, Daniel Bareinboim, Diana Krall, Billy Joel and Lang Lang.
About Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Throughout its 150-year history, it has welcomed a who’s who of world-renowned figures: artists, athletes and activists. No other place on earth has played host to Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Muhammad Ali; Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles and Adele. This was the Suffragettes’ “temple of liberty” – the site of Votes for Women rallies that helped change the course of British history – the home of the Stonewall concerts, and a place of celebration during Nelson Mandela’s state visit. But its eccentric history has also seen it used for a séance, an indoor marathon and the world’s first bodybuilding contest – hosted by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
During 2021 and 2022, the Hall celebrates its 150th birthday, with a special programme of events including major commissions from British artists, headline performances from musical legends, and a series of showcases promoting the next generation of talent. The season is designed to reflect Prince Albert’s founding vision of the venue: to promote the arts and sciences, and to offer a place of celebration, inspiration and commemoration for the country as a whole.
In an ordinary year, the Hall’s extraordinary auditorium presents around 400 world-class events: encompassing rock, pop and classical music, theatre, dance, films, Cirque du Soleil and sport. It typically welcomes 1.8 million visitors a year, while its 1,000 events in secondary spaces help to attract a young, diverse audience. Its Education & Outreach programme includes music therapy, concerts in the community, and workshops with A-list artists, often in collaboration with other charities, such as Nordoff Robbins and Music for Youth.