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Keep Up with the Latest Music Possibilities: Arthur’s Story

You might assume that a store featuring classical Steinway pianos is the last place you could expect to find cutting-edge technology. If you come in with that assumption though, you might be surprised. Just ask Arthur.

Arthur loved listening to music. At age 80, his love for music had only grown through the decades. Arthur grew up on a little Wisconsin farm. His parents believed that the best way for kids on a country farm to be immersed in culture was to have a piano in their home. All through his childhood years, Arthur took piano lessons and developed a deep love for piano music.

Arthur particularly loved listening to piano concerts. He attended concerts whenever he could and was lucky enough to hear some of the greatest artists of the century, such as Artur Rubinstein and Alfred Brendel, right here in Madison. As he grew older though, this became challenging. There were few, if any, performances in his small town and traveling, particularly in the treacherous Wisconsin winters, become more difficult. With the passing of his wife, it was also a lonely endeavor. Arthur began wishing there was a way he could stay in his home and still listen to piano concerts. Arthur didn’t just want piano music on CDs either. He wanted the full, rich, unique sound that comes with live performances. And he wanted to hear the best there was in the world.

That’s when Arthur learned about Steinway’s Spirio, a high resolution player piano that plays music indistinguishable from a live performance. It reproduces the full range of live expression and nuances that make up a professional performance. It has both new exclusive performances found only on the Steinway Spirio as well as historical performances from the world’s greatest concert artists of yesterday like Vladimir Horowitz and Van Kliburn.  And all this is accessed through the use of a simple iPad. Arthur decided to give it a try.

In the months following Arthur’s purchase from Steinway & Sons in Madison, Ben Garber, store owner, made a few follow up visits to Arthur’s home and was pleased to learn that Arthur was enjoying his music immensely. Ben often found him sitting in a chair in his living room listening to Beethoven Sonatas or Rachmaninoff Preludes. Although Arthur had little technology experience, the iPad app was so simple that Arthur was able to make full use of it immediately.

This is only one of many ways Steinway has embraced technology. Ben almost considers himself a techie—even if he is a piano guy! Ben is always exploring the latest innovations and how to use them to inspire his students and increase people’s access to music. Using the latest digital technology, Ben shows kids how to make a song sound like it’s being played on a variety of different instruments, including exercises like playing a Bach dance with a harpsichord sound, a historically accurate rendition. Ben also recreates duet parts for his students so they have the entire benefit of practicing with both parts even when they are practicing alone.

To see how you can tap into the most up-to-date music technology, stop in and talk with Ben. He would be happy to demonstrate a few things for you.