There are lots of boys in tuxedos and girls in tiaras who had dreams of becoming China’s next musical talent and sensation this year. It all happens on a nine feet long and about 1,000 pounds, with a price of more than $200,000, the new Steinway & Sons D-274 concert grand piano seemed intimidating. Some say that this piano came from distant place, Germany. This piano is concerned to be the mighty machine that can turn even the sloppiest musical lines into something serious that could be performed at Carnegie Hall.
The mother of an 11-year-old boy who had come to the theater to take part in the final round of the Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition in China last winter, Li Wei said: “It’s flawless, exquisite, with a special sound.” A 13-year-old who favored the pyrotechnics of the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Xiao Yunchu said: “Everyone wants a Steinway, but none of us can afford it.”
As the one of the World’s most famous and distinguished musical instrument brands, Steinway is planning to offer a rebirth to China’s music world into lackluster sales. But the success in this country demands a smart plan and more than good marketing. Fine-tuning a cultural mindset would be wise and advisable in a country that banished piano as bourgeois luxuries in the past.
Steinway company will have to persuade the wealthy clientele that these instruments would make good investments. Buying a piano that costs almost as an apartment, but eventually pays off, will be very tough to explain to the parents of future musicians. The other opponent is in the modern technology, such as smart pianos and iPads that use light technical tools when it comes to teaching basic skills.
But when we’re talking about the new technology, there’s a new Steinway Spirio which is a high-tech take on the jazz-era player piano. It is simply loaded with standard classical music library as well as Chinese tunes, including even the pop hits like “The Moon Represents My Heart” and compositions like “The Yellow River” Piano Concerto, a piece that dates to the Cultural Revolution.
Steinway is a company founded in 1853 in Manhattan, New York City, by a German immigrant. It flourished by selling high-end pianos, crafted by hand using materials like Sitka spruce and cast iron. They were made that way in both Europe and United States. At one point, the huge blow happened when Western Music schools and concert halls made a cut back on orders of the instrument. Their stores started closing slowly. This uncertain future finally ended when a billionaire John A. Paulson took the company on his own, three years ago.
In China for instance, there’s a number middle-class parents willing to spend fortunes to develop high-achieving children with good musical talent. It is estimated that the country has 40 million piano students, compared with six million in the United States. A classical pianist with a rock star flair who is one of China’s most prominent musicians, Lang Lang said: “In America, you’ve already had the piano for hundreds of years. In China, it’s fresher, it’s newer. Everyone wants to play.”