A life-long love affair
To Zuo Tong, touching a piano is just like meeting a new person or tasting a bottle of wine.
The recent Yale University graduate from Beijing, grew up performing on Steinways. She has performed across China, the US, Singapore and Vietnam.
She played a Steinway she loved at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. “The sound was so beautiful, the high pitches. It can sing. It responds to your different touches with different tune quality,” said Zuo.
She also played a Steinway that broke her heart at the Masterpiece London art fair in 2015.
“It was all arts, and to my surprise, Steinway was there with a concert piano that has a very beautiful exterior making it look like a piece of art,” she said. “However, when I tried it, it was one of the worst concert pianos I’ve played. It sat there like a piece of furniture.”
In the winter of 2014, Zuo visited the old Steinway Hall on 57th street in New York City for the last time before it closed permanently after 90 years.
“Its existence surpassed a shop or an office, it was full of culture and history. Countless best pianists had performed there. It was a landmark for piano,” she said. “And it’s gone.”
“Steinway is different from other brands. Its influence and quality made the brand mean more than an instrument. It has emotional value to many,” she said. “I think Steinway should be careful with where it’s heading. They have to really protect Steinway & Sons.”