In honor of the company’s 160th anniversary, Steinway & Sons has revealed a history-making collaboration with renowned furniture designer Dakota Jackson to develop the stunning Arabesque Limited Edition piano. Since 1853 Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value. Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world. With only 50 pianos in the line, the Arabesque is an exclusive masterpiece representing the combined artistic vision of one of the world’s most celebrated designers and the Steinway craftsmen who have brought his design to life.
“In Dakota Jackson we found a designer and craftsman whose passion matches our own,” said Michael Sweeney, CEO of Steinway Musical Instruments and President of Steinway & Sons. “For this collaboration we chose the Steinway Model B, frequently selected by Steinway Artists and other accomplished players for their residential purposes. Together with Dakota we have created an instrument at the highest levels of both design and musicality. We are pleased to share this accomplishment with 50 families around the world.”
In ballet, an “arabesque” is a pose in which the dancer’s limbs are extended and held–the position conveys channeled energy, perfect balance, and flawless beauty. Likewise, the Arabesque piano demonstrates an impression of fluidity and movement through its spiraling pentagonal legs, gracefully curved lid, and ethereal silver plate. Macassar ebony from Indonesia is the perfect material to underscore the warm strength of the design.
Born into a family of magicians and performers, Dakota Jackson studied and performed as a dancer in the early part of his career. “The demands of performance taught me how to discipline myself to achieve aesthetic ends,” he said. Over the past three decades, those aesthetic ends have earned Jackson recognition by major museums and commissions around the world. In fact, the Arabesque is not the first collaboration between Steinway & Sons and Jackson. In 1998 he was invited by Steinway to design the Tricentennial Piano, a beautifully understated piano commemorating the three-hundredth birthday of the instrument. “It was stripped down to its essential shape,” said Jackson. “I simplified it to one line drawn from the curve of the harp, a form that is integral to the instrument.”
By contrast, the Arabesque is an intricately-conceived design featuring rounded aesthetics to recall the gentle curves of a ballet dancer’s arms and the perfect harmony of shapes evident in every movement.
“Details are what separate out extraordinary design,” said Laura Seele, Manager of Steinway & Sons’ Custom Pianos Department. “Every element of Arabesque’s graceful form helps tell its story, contributes to its overall sense of balance, refinement, and sophistication. The result is both timeless and contemporary. It finds that rarified identity as both a great musical instrument and a beautiful piece of design.”
“To me, Steinway is synonymous with the word ‘piano’,” Jackson said. “I wouldn’t consider designing a piano for any other company.”
The Arabesque piano has been previewed over the past two months through a series of short video clips, photos, and descriptions of some of the instrument’s most unique features. These “sneak peaks” are posted on the Steinway & Sons website (www.steinway.com/arabesque), YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/SteinwayOfficial), and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/steinway). For more information, visit www.steinway.com.