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Introducing the Steinway Spirio

“It’s like having a private concert in your living room.”

The black and white keys move under the talented fingers of Steinway artist Ian Parker as he brings the gorgeous instrument to life.

Then, minutes later, the keys spring to life again only this time without the aid of the artist. It’s mesmerizing to see the keys move up and down exactly as Ian had played them producing the same inflection, the same emotion and the same nuances as the world class performance we just heard.

Goosebumps run up your arms as you witness this ghostly performance, but it’s no ghost, it’s technology that Steinway & Sons has designed into its newest creation—the Steinway Spirio, a new high-resolution player piano system.

Steinway & Sons, which for more than 160 years has been dedicated to making the finest pianos in the world, introduced the Steinway Spirio to media at its Calgary launch in June and astonished everyone with its ability to reproduce performances to amazing accuracy.

“The Spirio is our most significant product innovation in over 70 years; it picks up everything from the smallest nuances, delicate pedalling and soft trills, reproducing the sound exactly like the artist performed it,” says Eric Feidner, senior vice-president of Technology, Steinway & Sons. “There is nothing else like this; it’s like having a private concert in your living room.”

When a customer purchases a Spirio, they receive an iPad with an App where they can access a catalogue of music that has been recorded at the highest resolution possible. The catalogue contains thousands of tracks—including classical, jazz and contemporary—all recorded live by accomplished Steinway artists in Steinway’s master recording studio, and new music will be added every month. What’s also incredible is that Spirio owners can access all the music for free. And, they can also see videos of artists performing via the iPad or through Apple TV with Spirio playing.

The performance by Ian and videos were presented during a VIP launch of the Spirio, in Calgary on June 28, which was so electrifying for one participant that she purchased a Steinway Spirio right after the event.

“When a true lover of piano music hears the emotion when a song is played on this piano they are moved and identify with it immediately,” says Kevin Anderson, store manager/piano consultant for Steinway Piano Gallery Calgary. “She loved the sound and the extraordinary ability to experience world class performances so she purchased our seven-foot model, which we delivered the next day.”

Two Spirio pianos have been on display and demonstrated since the beginning of June at the Calgary store (76 Heritage Gate S.E.), and Kevin says the response has been “everything from tears to giggling with joy, to people who stand there and say ‘no way, no way’ repeatedly. I’ve been in the music business for more than 25 years and I’ve never seen that response to an instrument.”

Graham Blank, vice-president of Tom Lee Music Canada, which has been representing Steinway in Canada since 1978 and owns Steinway Piano Gallery Calgary, says about 60 per cent of Spirio’s sales are to non-players. “Frankly, that’s the most exciting thing about it because up until now only people who could truly enjoy a Steinway were Steinway artists, and now everyone can enjoy it.”

In essence, for those who don’t play piano, a Spirio turns a Steinway from a piece of furniture into lively instrument that provides entertainment by not just one, but hundreds of Steinway artists in its truest form. For further details, visit www.steinwaycalgary.ca.

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