The Kravitz Grand goes beyond its traditional roots
Steinway & Sons, builder of the world’s finest pianos, has announced the launch of its new Limited Edition Piano, the “Kravitz Grand,” in collaboration with Lenny Kravitz. For 167 years, employees at the Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria, Queens have been meticulously handcrafting pianos, which can take many months and even years to produce.
With each year that passes, Steinway finds new ways to shake up the classical category and introduce its brand to a wider audience through its Steinway Limited Edition pianos. These unique pianos have a limited run and consist of collaborations with some of the most notable artists and designers of our time, including Lang Lang, Dakota Jackson, Karl Lagerfeld and Dale Chihuly, all of which combine classic Steinway craftsmanship with expressive designs.
The Kravitz Grand is Steinway’s latest collaboration, venturing away from their classical roots and reaching beyond the traditional. Having always been an admirer of Steinway & Sons, Lenny Kravitz teamed up with Steinway to design a limited edition of 10 Model B pianos.
For this personal passion project, he and his Kravitz Design team dissected every aspect of the piano’s construction, looking at the case, action and even the screws to create a completely new look that is unlike anything Steinway has ever produced. The Kravitz Grand is inspired by the African themes utilized in paintings, sculpture, and fabric design from the Paris art scene of the 1920s. The piano is comprised of 15 layers of hard rock maple and rare Macassar ebony personally selected by Lenny Kravitz for the exterior. The Model B features hand-carved motifs on the piano rim, the inner lid, and music desk requiring over 200 hours of carving by Steinway artisans, and hand-carved, block-style piano legs in black ebony finish.
Other stunning design elements include a “crackle” metallic finish on the cast iron plate, and solid bronze castings for the top stick and pedal lyre, the latter weighing more than 40 pounds, envisioned by Kravitz Design and cast by Modern Art Foundry. There are also custom metal finishes for the pedals, brass music trays, hinges, and a numbered brass “Edition” plaque. The piano keys are in ebony and matte cream, and the handcrafted piano bench features Macassar ebony from the same flitch of wood found on the piano and a faux cheetah print fabric. The finishing touch is the Steinway and Spirio logos inlaid in faux tortoise by Pearl Works.
“The first instrument I ever played was a Steinway,” Kravitz says. “I have been a fan of their pianos over the span of my 30-year career, and I feel fortunate to get the opportunity to design my dream piano. I put my heart and soul into every design element and I’m thankful to work with a partner who let me have creative control to create something that was so personal to me and really pushed the envelope on what one can do with a classic piano.”
“The Kravitz Grand is one of the most interesting takes on a 167-year-old classic design,” shares Ron Losby, CEO of Steinway Musical Instruments. “Lenny has been a fantastic partner with an extraordinary eye for design. Everyone involved in designing and building this piano really had to push the boundaries and create something unlike any designs in the past. This collaboration with Lenny allowed us to take our history and heritage of creating the best pianos and put a unique spin on the design that no one has ever seen before. We are so excited to unveil the piano and share it with those who love Steinway and those who love Lenny Kravitz.”
Every Kravitz Grand also comes equipped as a Spirio | r, the world’s finest high-resolution player piano, and retails for $500,000.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.