Collaborating with the Classics

You simply can’t build a business with an unimpeachable 130-year history behind it without ensuring you represent the best possible products and engage in the best possible relationships.

For legendary musical instrument store, Lewis Eady, this fact rings true in several ways.

The Steinway & Sons association is an aspect of Lewis Eady’s heritage which has remained steadfast across eight decades.

The family firm’s well-known Auckland showroom has been a destination for piano lovers and pianists alike who have long appreciated the uncompromising quality and craftsmanship that Steinway & Sons pianos represents. 

With the recently unveiled Spirio R offering the biggest technological leap forward in Steinway’s history, Lewis Eady is seeing a whole new audience develop for the contemporary instrument range of this legendary 166-year-old high-end American manufacturer. 

The New Zealand launch of the Spirio (of which, more in a moment) gave Lewis Eady the opportunity to further an existing relationship with yet another purveyor of high-quality crafted products: Bentley Motors. 

“We’ve long admired Bentley as a brand and, obviously, there are many unique products which we represent in New Zealand that imbue the same principals of design and attention-to-detail that Bentley stands for,” says John Eady of Lewis Eady. 

Derek Bennett, Dealer Principal at Auckland Bentleyhas been an enthusiastic supporter of our company and products and it seemed a natural fit that Bentley’s impressive showroom should play host to the Steinway Spirio pre-launch event earlier this year.” 

In order to showcase the Steinway Spirio grand piano to assembled guests, Lewis Eady was able to draw upon another worthy and well-established relationship; Korean-born New Zealand pianist, Jason Bae, who has been part of the official global Steinway Artist programme since 2016. 

Jason has been a proud beneficiary of the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust in Auckland since 2004 and became the first New Zealand Young Steinway Artist at the age of 20.  

Among his many plaudits, this impressive young artist has also been appointed as the youngest School of Music Visiting Fellow at University of Auckland (when he was just 24) and was a Visiting Artist at the University of North Florida in the United States in 2017. Last year, Jason was selected and honoured as part of the prestigious ‘40 Under 40’ alumni from the University of Auckland. 

And the grand piano Jason played for guests at the Bentley Auckland-hosted event?  

While it is estimated that more than 98 percent of the world’s active concert pianists choose to perform on Steinway pianos, the new Steinway Spirio offers more ground-breaking technology to every piano lover than even the virtuosi might have experienced before. 

This beautifully designed, traditionally manufactured piano hides some jaw-dropping technology. It is a 21st Century take on the player piano but run from an iPad tablet device rather than a perforated paper roll. The Spirio app operates like iTunes or Spotify, allowing music lovers to browse or search a library of more than 3200 hours (and growing) of music from immortal artists of days gone by, as well as contemporary entertainers. 

Using bespoke solenoids to work the keys, the Steinway Spirio plays the selected song live with all the nuance, power and artistry you would expect from an impassioned live performance.  

In the near future it will be possible for Spirios played in concert halls to be able to stream concerts in real time directly to owners’ instruments in their own homes. It’s a breath-taking advent in the realm of live music. 

Steinway & Sons has also unveiled the Spirio R, which is capable of high-resolution live performance capture and playback, storing and playing music directly from the instrument. It’s a serious slice of modern technology seamlessly incorporated into a traditional instrument handmade by artisans. 

“There are many parallels between creating high-end musical instruments designed to stand the test of time and building other luxury items, such as premium motor vehicles,” says John. 

“Each requires fastidious craftsmanship, the best materials and an openness to new ideas and technologies. We remain very proud of our association with a bespoke manufacturer such as Steinway & Sons and look forward to furthering collaborative opportunities with other brands of note in the years to come.” 

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