Maria Ines Aguirre and the Steinway Piano

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A trip to Steinway Hall, situated on Marylebone Street in London, is always a pleasurable experience. If you have never popped in then I urge you to go and enjoy the vast array of pianos on display in the magnificent showrooms. One particular instrument has routinely caught my eye over the past few weeks. It’s this beautiful model D (the full size piano) that has been painted by Argentinian painter Maria Ines Aguirre.

Now I realize that this type of artwork isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and no doubt many will recoil in horror at the thought of a Steinway being painted or ‘modified’ at all. However, if you do witness this piano in person you will see that it does have a magnetic charm – it’s a full-on colour explosion! Appreciating modern art is a prerequisite to enjoying this piano but if you have a fondness for colourful and unusual painting then you will love it.

The piano was painted in 2010 and it’s the first time a first class instrument has been decorated in this way. The artist has used oil paints made by Michael Harding which are used by David Hockney and many other leading artists.

Maria Ines Aguirre comments; ‘my insiration comes from movement and light, which is why I want the piano to evoke the energy, movement and colour of the Ballet Russes….you could say I am writing a musical score in colours which I hope will touch everyone who sees the piano – and add an extra dimension to the music created on it’.

The Steinway itself has a wonderful mellow sound and real depth in the bass – I thoroughly enjoyed playing it. If you are bowled over and wish to purchase this instrument then it can be  yours for a cool half a million pounds. Alternatively, if you just fancy having a peep then it’s in an exalted position in the showroom.

Steinway Hall showrooms (photo courtesy of www.classicalliterature.tumblr.com)

The Steinway Hall in London was opened in 1875 and became the first Steinway Hall in Europe. It has showrooms as well as several practice rooms available for musicians of all ages. The “piano bank” at London’s Steinway Hall consists mostly of Hamburg Steinways, and also has a few New York Steinways D-274, in order to satisfy a greater range of performing artists.

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