Pianoforte Steinway N°1, Seesen, 1836
One of the very first Steinway grand pianos was built in 1836, by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg. This proto model of today's grand pianos was built in a family kitchen in Seesen, near Hannover.
The original fortepiano is located in the Steinway Factory in Long Island, New York.
In 2006, Chris Maene, was granted permission from the Steinway management to build three replicas of this ‘kitchen piano’ – the instrument was called like this because Steinweg had built it in his kitchen, which he transformed into a piano building workshop.
Chris Maene went to New York to do a profound analysis of the grand piano by making accurate measurements, digital sketches and photographical details. The roentgen apparatus from the New York Metropolitan Museum was used to make an exact measurement of the inside (?)of the piano.
The University of Liège was involved to determine the type and age of the wood. Then, the building plan of the case and the strings was drawn in the Chris Maene workshop in Ruiselede. From then on, the actual construction of the replica could start. In the autumn of 2006, Abdel Rahman El Bacha officially inaugurated the instrument in the Concertgebouw in Bruges.
Film maker Bram Crols intensively followed the building process and made a remarkable documentary about it – “Building A Legend”. It shows how Chris Maene travels to New York, Germany and the United Kingdom to study the instrument and to rebuild it, whilst preserving the original sound.
Learn more about the Steinway N°1 replica