Steinway White House Piano In Miniature Unveiled
New York, NY (September 24, 2014) — Steinway & Sons, makers of the finest pianos in the world, is proud to announce the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind instrument: a miniature replica of the historic 1903 Steinway White House grand piano. Created by master artist Paul Gentile, the miniature piano represents more than sixteen years of meticulous design, production, and finishing. It is a fully-functional 1:7 scale grand piano, the first non-company instrument ever to earn the designation of Steinway & Sons piano.
The original 1903 Steinway White House piano served through the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt; it was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Paul Gentile’s 1:7 miniature of this legendary instrument stays true to every single aspect of the piano’s mechanical construction and artistic finishing. Working by hand and often with the aid of a jeweler’s loupe, Gentile replicated the thousands of parts required to build an actionable Steinway piano. For many of these parts, he had to first build miniature tooling, including a scale replica of the venerable rim press devised and patented by the Steinway family in the 1870s.
Gentile finished the art case of the piano with a meticulously-crafted replica of the original instrument, complete with its exquisite Impressionistic top mural, intricate carvings, expansive gilding, and ornate legs. The final piece is an homage to an iconic piece of musical tradition and American history.
“Everybody in the world wants to be like Steinway,” Gentile said, “and the reason why Steinway is successful, why they’ve been around this long and are still going strong, is because they’ve done it right. They’ve created something that works and works well. This level of integrity is acquired through many, many years of experience. Knowing that, and having the opportunity to work with people who think the same way I do as far as maintaining standards of the highest level—that was something that I related to.”
“There are more than 12,000 parts in a Steinway grand piano, and Paul replicated each one of those 12,000 parts by hand to make a working model of a Steinway concert grand piano,” said Ron Losby, President, Steinway & Sons — Americas. “It’s very hard to put a monetary value on this item, since there is literally nothing else like it in the world.”
Steinway & Sons has recognized the Paul Gentile miniature piano as an official Steinway & Sons piano. “All these years the company has been so patient, and as an end result they’ve come to the conclusion that I did it, that I actually captured the essence of Steinway,” Gentile said. “I didn’t know I could actually do that. It’s like going beyond the sound barrier.”
To view a short documentary on the Paul Gentile Steinway White House Piano in Miniature, visit www.youtube.com/SteinwayOfficial. and for more information on the piano, visit http://mini.steinway.com. The piano was unveiled for the first time to the public at an event last night at Steinway Hall in New York City.
About Paul Gentile
Canadian artist Paul Gentile was born in Quebec and currently lives near Toronto. His work in miniatures has won the acclaim of fine artists and mechanical craftsmen for its incredible attention to detail and integrity of construction. His renowned “Gentile Collection” of famous historic classical instruments included remarkably detailed, historically accurate miniatures of the 1679 Heller Stradivarius Violin; the Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone; the 1688 Antonio Stradivari Guitar; the 1701 Antonio Stradivari “Servais” Cello; the 1785 Vincenzo Panormo Double Bass; and the 1931 Eugene Sartori Double Bass Bow. Two of each piece were created; one set has been sold, and the other is available for acquisition.
About Steinway & Sons
Since its founding in New York in 1853, Steinway & Sons has been considered the world's premier piano manufacturer. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship, Steinway & Sons pianos are built in one of two company-owned and operated factories: Astoria, New York and Hamburg, Germany. Steinway & Sons pianos are still constructed primarily by hand, using many of the techniques developed over 160 years ago. Today, Steinway & Sons also offers the Boston and Essex piano lines, Listen, a magazine for music and culture lovers, and the Steinway & Sons record label. For more information, visit www.steinway.com.
Steinway & Sons