There are Steinway grand pianos and then there are Steinway grand pianos. What we have here is a bespoke one-of-a-kind piano encrusted with quite a lot of Swarovski crystals. You could say this is the world’s most luxurious piano and it cost the ultra-rich Qatari owner an extravagant $600,000. The Qatari Sheikh hired the British piano customization company Goldfinch to work on it. Goldfinch in turn collaborated with British contemporary artist Lauren Baker, who painstakingly hand applied half a million crystals on the piano – one at a time.
Needless to say the owner is delighted with his purchase. It took the artisans at Goldfinch over six months to complete this exceptional piano. And the master craftsmen team include a joiner, a wood worker and a regulator. If the Sheikh cannot find a piano player in Qatar, that is fine. The piano is installed with the “Virtuoso” self-play system, which pretty much operate as its own player. At the Sheikh’s palace in Qatar, the piano has taken over the reception hall, thanks to its self play system the music can be heard moments before entering the area.
Majority of crystals are white, few hundred champagne colored ones are used for the Steinway and Sons logo and the Goldfinch signature. The crystals measure from 7 mm to very tiny 1mm. The Cambridge-based company specializes in customizing piano’s from famous brands, just like auto tuners.
About their work of art Goldfinch director Tomas Norman said “It’s been a delight to bring another customer’s dream to reality. We love nothing more than blurring the lines between timeless tradition and contemporary British art, but it’s not all about good looks – our craftsmanship is combined with cutting edge technology for that seamless finish and ultimate musicality.”