Steinway and Sons, the most important and prestigious manufacturer of pianos in the world, and Paul Wyse, an internationally famous pianist and artist, have unveiled one of the most ambitious projects Steinway has ever been involved in: ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, a wonderful piano which is a tribute to the musical composition of that name composed by the Russian composer, Modest Mussorgsky.
Every aspect of this Steinway is unique, starting with its story. In 1874, following the early death of his friend the painter and architect Viktor Hartmann, Mussorgsky visited an exhibition in which many of Hartmann’s paintings were on display; the experience inspired Mussorgsky to compose his most famous work: Pictures at an Exhibition. In 2012, nearly 140 years later, Paul Wyse began work on one of the most unusual pianos ever produced. It is the first Steinway to be inspired by a musical composition.
This monumental work took more than four years to complete and depicts Mussorgsky’s imaginary contemplation of the paintings which inspired him. The result is a triumph of craftsmanship, featuring oil paintings of stories from Russian history and folklore. It is decorated in 24K gold and has legs finely crafted in the shape of Baba Yaga’s hut – the witch, a character from old Russian mythology. Without forgetting, of course, that behind this unusual appearance there is a legendary Steinway Model D. A real collector’s item.
The Pictures at an Exhibition is a one-off production available to the public at a price of $ 2.5 million.
New York, May 2017