Art Case Pianos

Email a Friend

From hotel lobbies to the most star-studded stages in the world, the piano is an instrument that transmits a singular kind of elegance. But beyond the jet black distinction of a concert grand, there are pianos whose ornate decoration sets them apart, called art case pianos.

In this week's Arts File, Kerry Nolan talks to New York Times writer and author James Barron about the most beautiful pianos in history. Barron has been lucky enough to play some of these exceptional pianos and is the author of "Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand."


The famed Alma-Tadema piano, from 1903.
The famed Alma-Tadema piano, from 1903. ( Courtesy of Steinway )
Steinway's way of celebrating the tricentennial of the piano, designed by Dakota Jackson.
Steinway's way of celebrating the tricentennial of the piano, designed by Dakota Jackson. ( Courtesy of Steinway )
The 300,000th piano made by Steinway that is currently in the East Room of the White House.
The 300,000th piano made by Steinway that is currently in the East Room of the White House. ( Courtesy of Steinway )
of