In early November, Steinway Artist Rufus Wainwright marked the launch of the Gran Nichetto Limited Edition, performing on the instrument after its reveal in New York City’s Steinway Tower. “Steinway & Sons has been a part of my musical journey since the beginning,” Wainwright noted, “and it was so exciting to be able to help unveil their newest project!
“Steinway & Sons has been a part of my musical journey since the beginning — and it was so exciting to be able to help unveil their newest project!”
For award-winning designer Luca Nichetto, the first Italian to design a piano for Steinway & Sons, the concert saw the birth of his creation, an instrument with roots in his home city of Venice, but with a concept set in motion by a visit to the Steinway Factory. “One of my first visits to the New York Steinway factory triggered childhood memories for me,” says Nichetto. “The curves of the Steinway grands in their various stages of construction reminded me of the gondolas used to traverse the canals in my hometown of Venice.” In designing Gran Nichetto, the designer sought to translate the smoothness and dynamism of the gondola into the detailing of the piano, accenting the lines and celebrating the contours across the instrument’s every detail.
Born and raised north of Venice on the island of Murano, Nichetto led a life influenced by the fine skills and poetic craft demonstrated by Murano’s finest glassblowers which he witnessed growing up. The Gran Nichetto, with its elegant aesthetic and contoured design, celebrates Nichetto’s beloved gondola while incorporating leather details to the Italian signature.
Nichetto approached the piano as he would a piece of furniture, dissecting and redefining all external elements in close collaboration with Steinway’s craftspeople. He described the assembly of these elements as similar to a micro-architecture project, evolving the aesthetic of the Model B in a way that honors the history and tradition of Steinway & Sons.
Gran Nichetto sits atop elegantly sculpted legs defined with brass or stainless-steel accents. The music desk is distinguished from the case’s high-polish finish by the fine luster of Italian leather. The gracefully tapered top stick supports the piano lid, which is reinforced with brass or stainless-steel hardware integrated into the piano rim. Italian leather detailing distinguishes the music desk panel and desk plates from the rest of the piano’s high-polish finish. The pedal lyre is a single piece of hand-crafted bent lamination. The Gran Nichetto is accompanied by a matching bench.
Only fifty Gran Nichetto Model B Steinway grands are available in three veneers: Midnight Red, crafted in hand-selected Macassar; Walnut Veneer, with Urushi Red accents; and Black Polished, with stainless-steel hardware. Each is equipped with Steinway’s latest technological innovation, Spirio | r, the world’s finest high resolution player piano with recording capabilities. Spirio | r is a high resolution player piano offering live music, on demand, as well as live performance capture and playback. The Spirio music library offers an ever-expanding collection of music from the world’s finest musical artists, both living legends and immortal giants.
Steinway Limited Edition pianos are unique masterpieces created by some of the most notable artists and designers of our time. They are custom built to combine classic Steinway craftsmanship with inspired artistic concepts.
Founded in 2006 in Venice, Nichetto Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio creating furniture, products, and accessories as well as architecture, exhibition design, and branding. The Steinway Gran Nichetto is the first piano design to emerge from the studio, which has bases in Venice and Stockholm and which works with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Hermès, Land Rover, De Le Espada, Cassina, and Ginori 1735. Nichetto Studio has been recognized with the Red Dot Award and the Elle Decoration International Design Award, among many other accolades.
“Gran Nichetto is a great example of an object with multiple souls — craftsmanship, technology and legacy merge perfectly with the sculptural appearance and sound performance expected of a Steinway,” says Nichetto.
“Gran Nichetto is an object with multiple souls — craftsmanship, technology and legacy merge perfectly with the sculptural appearance and sound performance expected of a Steinway.”
— Luca Nichetto
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