Steinway: Worth Much More Than a Song

Behind the beloved piano's glossy exterior is more than a century of inspiration, craftsmanship, and hard work

The image of a tuxedoed concert pianist tickling the ivories of a shiny Steinway grand piano could not be any more disparate from the scene at the Steinway factory, located in the Long Island City section of Queens, N.Y. Here, the floors are coated with wood shavings and the air—humid to keep the wood from cracking—reeks of fresh ebony lacquer. From 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., tattooed men in tank tops wrestle wood rims into shape, and rows of women in colorful smocks assemble intricate felt hammers.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.