Welcome back! Last week, we took a look at some of the World’s Most Expensive Pianos, ranking in from 11th to 6th place, worldwide. Now that’s respectable and all, but to be honest, who are we kidding really? Those pianos barely even scratched the millions club! They are child’s play in the world of riches and pianos. Today, we’ll take a look at the very top of the food chain, the elite of the elites, the big guns, the golden ones (pun intended), the ones that you will only be able to see in the flesh in your dreams. So without further ado, let’s not keep our shiny musical divas (no not you, Mariah Carey) waiting any longer, let’s meet the Top 5 Most Expensive and Extraordinary Pianos in the World!
Galaxy Piano – $1.36 million
We said golden, we meant golden! Meet the Galaxy piano, named so because it looks out of this world!! (and also because it was built by a UAE-based firm of the same name, but never mind). This futuristic piano was designed for the most eagle-eyed of clients and features a nice little array of artistic perks we wouldn’t mind having in our own humble abode (for aesthetics, of course, not because we’re materialistic or anything). That includes a 24-carat gold plated fiberglass body, automatic lid (cover), curved keys (the only one in the world) and gold-plated embedded figurines. You’re probably thinking, ‘Sounds good to me! Where do I sign up’? The answer to that is, you can’t! Only 5 such pianos were made in the history of time, and unfortunately, none of them belong or likely will belong to you or I in the near or infinite future, ever.
Sound of Harmony Concert Grand, Steinway & Sons- $1.63 Million
So beautiful and fluttery looking, we wouldn’t be surprised if that wing actually allowed it to fly, the Sound of Harmony piano was specially built and customized by Steinway for a lucky (and likely quite wealthy) Chinese art collector named Guo Qingxiang in 2007. Collaborating with celebrated Chinese artist Shi Qi, the piano is as externally vibrant and detailed as a peacock (and is also quite literally inlaid with an ink-wash image of one), and internally houses some of the most unique piano features seen in the world. With a specially designed soundboard that was built using 40 layers of different woods from around the world, when the piano is played it has a beautiful rich acoustic quality. Call it a labor of love, if you will, and what a labor it was! The piano’s construction took a painstaking three years to complete. And for nice little extra charm, the Steinway logo and the piano name were painted onto the piano, but not with ink (ink is for us common folk). Instead, the logo was painted using rare crystallized gold. Yep, crystallized gold.
3. “Red Pops for (RED)” Parlor Grand Piano, Steinway & Sons- 1.925 Million
What’s the color of the carpet that all rich and fancy people walk down? What’s the color chosen for most wedding dresses due to its elegance? Yes, red and white, both striking colors that represent riches, fanciness and elegance. In the case of the RED piano, it scores those colors and their associated traits all in one. The piano was envisioned by Bono (the U2 frontman, not to be confused with Bobo the clown). He requested the assistance of designers Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson to create the dazzling two-toned masterpiece which took center stage at the star-studded (RED) Auction held in New York. The auction was part of a charity event to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. The auction was, to say the least, quite successful, and managed to raise an astounding $26 million for the cause (of which 1.925 million, the winning bid from billionaire philanthropist, Stewart Rahr, can be attributed to RED). As the evening’s most expensive item sold, it’s safe to say that ‘charitable’ is another trait that RED piano can proudly add to its list of descriptive adjectives.
2. John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z- $2.37 Million
2.37 Million Smackaroos. 2.37 million for a brown piano with no gold or silver or material of any significant worth whatsoever. Yes, if you are blessed enough to become insanely rich and famous, you don’t need things made of gold to show your wealth anymore. Instead, everything you touch becomes gold. You have a cold and use a tissue? That snotty tissue is now gold. Did you step on a pile of doggy doo with your crocs? Your crocs (and the doo) are now worth more than a diamond ring.
Returning to our humble friend above, this brown Steinway and sons piano happened to belong to such a person, John frickin’ Lennon to be exact. On this piano Lennon also happened to compose and film the immortal classic ‘Imagine’, helping the price tag rise nicely. But of course, following our golden rule above, when it comes to famous people, the nastier it is, the more its value rises. And thus, the Model Z’s value inflated even more so because not only was it Lennon’s famous piano, it also had priceless cigarette burns talentedly created by the singer himself.
The piano was purchased by British Superstar George Michael for the dizzying amount above, and we have no doubt that he has since added some cigarette burns of his own as he composes with it, making us wonder what this will do to the piano’s value once it’s on the market again. We shudder to imagine. 😉
1. Crystal Piano, Heintzman- $3.22 Million
Ever wanted to know what it feels like to play the piano while floating on a cloud? If you answered yes, now you can (for a big big price). It’s time ladies and gents. Behold the lion king of this list, the most expensive piano in the universe-the Heintzman Crystal Piano. Living up to its namesake, this futuristic masterpiece is entirely made from crystal and was exclusively built for performances in large concert halls, and we mean very very large concert halls.
It was introduced to the world during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when it played to a global audience of almost a billion people. Designed by Canadian piano manufacturer Heintzman Pianos, this exquisitely-crafted instrument retired early after it’s only performance (but still one that surpasses all the performances we’ll ever perform in our lifetime) and was sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for a record-breaking sum of $3.22 million USD. It has since not resurfaced, and with good reason. Rumor has it money flies out of the wing as you play.
See last week’s post when we looked at Part 1 of the World’s Most Expensive Pianos, #11-6!