The most expensive pianos in the world
If you’ve ever wondered what the costliest pianos in the world were, read on. You may be amazed to see some of the prices some of the most sought-after pianos in history changed hands for, who played them and where they have been played. Learn about the five most expensive pianos ever below.
Crystal Piano, Heintzman
The Crystal Piano was made entirely from genuine crystals. The piano was once played in front of a billion people at the Beijing Olympic Games back in 2008 and was designed and manufactured by the Heintzman company. It was retired after just one performance before it was sold at auction for $3.22 million. The identity of the successful bidder is unknown. This is the world’s most expensive piano and was played at the Games by Lang Lang, the revered pianist. Lang Lang was born in 1982 and has performed with some of the most famous orchestras in the world. He became a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2013, saying that the position meant more to him than any of his other musical achievements due to the way it enables him to improve children’s lives via education.
John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z
Though there may be nothing special about the appearance of this piano, yet it swapped hands for $2.37 million. The Steinway & Sons instrument was used to compose Lennon’s 1971 super-hit Imagine, which is one of the reasons why the price is so vast. The piano was owned by George Michael prior to his death in 2016. It’s said that Michael purchased the instrument to prevent it being kept in storage. The piano is now housed at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.
Red Pops for (RED)” Parlor Grand Piano, Steinway & Sons
This piano fetched $1.925 at a Red Auction in New York after U2 frontman Bono commissioned it to be a centrepiece at the event. The red-and-white instrument was the auction’s most expensive item. The money was given to his Red charity, which aims to tackle AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa. The event took place in 2013 and also saw many other specially-commissioned items put up for auction, such as an aluminium desk from Neal Feay Studio which sold for $1.7 million. The piano was purchased by the philanthropist Stewart Rahr, who beat around a dozen other bidders.
Sound of Harmony Concert Grand, Steinway & Sons
Also produced by Steinway & Sons was the Sound of Harmony Concert Grand. The item was created for the Chinese art collector, Guo Qingxiang and features images of peacocks and other colourful decorations. It’s said that the piano was constructed with 40 layers of wood, which resulted in stunning acoustic performance. The piano was the result of three years of design and construction work. Though Steinway normally adds his signature with ink, he instead added it in crystallised gold on this occasion. The piano has a value of around $1.63 million dollars.
The fifth most expensive piano in the world is the Galaxy Piano. The piano sold for an astonishing $1.36 dollars and features a fibreglass body made from 24-carat gold as well as curved keys and an automatic lid. There were only ever five models of this piano ever manufactured.
The Kuhn Bosendorfer Grand Piano
The Kuhn Bosendorfer diamond and jewel piano was a collaboration between glass sculptor John Kuhn and piano maker L. Bosendorfer Klaviefabrik. The piano boats 100,000 individually-polished jewels and features a shininess that has to be seen to be believed. The piano is worth $1.2 million and also features diamond patterns of gold leaves as well as a crystal that sits on the top of the instrument. It’s stated that the piano was designed with women in mind.
The Alma-Tadema Steinway is actually a replica of a piano designed in 1887 that sold for more than the original instrument. The replica was produced by Steinway & Sons and sold for $1.2 million, with the first piano selling for around $54,500 prior to years of inflation. Both pianos had mother of pearl inlaid pieces, an arched brass lyre and a hand-carved case.