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Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg
Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg ©Steinway & Sons

    Heinrich E. Steinweg, Steinway & Sons

    Born: 1797 | Died: 1871

    Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg started out as a carpenter. At the age of 15, he became an apprentice to an organ builder in the town of Goslar, not far from Hannover. Soon, he fell in love with music and became an organ player in the church.

    In 1835 Steinweg built his first square piano which he presented to his bride Juliane at their wedding. In 1836 he built his first grand piano in his kitchen in the town of Seesen.

    Due to the unstable political climate in Germany, Steinweg decided to leave Germany for New York in 1851 with four of his sons. One of his sons stayed with the company in Germany. Once in New York he anglicized his name to Henry E. Steinway. He and his sons worked for other piano companies until they could establish their own manufacturing company under the name of Steinway & Sons in 1853. By the 1860s, Steinway was the leading piano manufacturer in America.

    Steinway's long established reputation and high standard of craftsmanship set the firm apart from other makers and their success is reflected by their presence on the majority of concert stages around the world. Steinway currently provides more than 95% of the world's concert halls with their nine-foot long Model D concert grand piano. Although now under new management, Henry Ziegler Steinway, the great-grandson of the founder, still worked for Steinway until his death in 2008.