Much as I like my digital piano, it’s really only a substitute for the real thing. I love acoustic grand pianos, and it’s only a lack of space and money — yes, only — that’s stopping me from having one.
Naturally I love the sound and feel, and also the look. However, I’m not sure I’d go so far as to have the body customised.
Yet some are using the grand piano to make an artistic statement.
Steinway & Sons recently created a $1.5m art case piano for a Chinese art collector. Bösendorfer works with artists and architects to style a client’s perfect piano.
“The piano is more than a musical instrument. It is a symbol of sophistication, spiritual and financial wealth,” says Tibor Szabo, whose San Francisco firm restores and sells European art case pianos.
Very high quality pieces can appreciate significantly in value as art itself, though “ordinary” grand pianos, when well looked after, also hold and increase their value after about five years, according to experts.
An art case piano not only is a sublime expression of the musical and visual arts but may be a rewarding personal investment as well, a piece of “living furniture” to be experienced to its fullest (given proper care) even four or five generations from now.