The Steinway & Sons Noé Limited Edition is a modern interpretation of the classic Steinway & Sons grand, created in collaboration with the multidisciplinary French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. The grand piano made its debut during a private concert by celebrated pianist and Steinway Artist Yuja Wang at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, who has created many iconic designs, including the egg-shaped pods in the restrooms at London’s Sketch, the Corvo chair for Bernhardt Design and the Manta desk for Ceccotti Collezioni – described the opportunity to design a piano for Steinway & Sons as ‘something a designer can dream about’.
“I have long admired Steinway for its timeless design and artistic excellence. It was a dream to create a modern interpretation of this classic instrument and something that only happens once in a lifetime. Music, just like water, ebbs and flows; the constant flow of water erodes rocks on the shore over time, drawing shapes and stretched shapes on their surface.
I thought about how curved traces of ink become notes on paper and how those notes become music that travels as if ripples in the air. The immateriality of sound, the fluidity of time and the resonance with space combined with these sensual lines were my inspiration”, said Noé.
The result of this collaboration is an elegant, sculptural piece of art, handcrafted at the factory in Hamburg. In a departure from the classic Steinway & Sons grand piano, the rim of the Noé Limited Edition features an unusual, beautiful ‘flowing’ shape based on what Noé calls ’emotional curves’; a celebration of light and sound inspired by the natural ebb and flow of music.
The legs are of a distinct round shape, perfectly matching the soft flow of the piano’s rim; the unusual lyra, made of metal, rounds off the beauty of the instrument.
The designer carefully chose three radiant colours – white, red and blue – and added matching veneers to some parts of the pianos, creating stunning visual highlights: ivory white is combined with Figured Sycamore Wood; midnight blue with Blue Stained Mahogany wood and a deep burgundy red with red stained Indian Applewood.
The cast iron plate, as well as the fittings, are crafted in a silver- or gold-coloured finish, complimenting the colour of each piano.
Guido Zimmermann, President Steinway & Sons Europe, adds, “‘We choose our design collaborators very carefully. Noé had a clear vision for Steinway & Sons – one that resonated on an emotional level, inspired by nature, it complimented the original design – modernising and elegantly softening it. We are very proud of the finished instrument.
Our craftswomen and men at the Hamburg Factory have done an exceptional job of marrying Noé’s creative artistry with our own time-honoured craft skills. Each Noé Limited Edition is a true work of art with our goal to further spread the joy of music.”
The Steinway & Sons Noé Limited Edition is available as a concert grand D-274, limited to just 18 pianos worldwide and the model B-211, limited to 88 pianos worldwide. All grand pianos feature Steinway SPIRIO | r, the world’s finest high-resolution player piano capable of live performance capture and playback.
Each passage of music is captured with every nuance from the artist’s performance directly from the instrument and saved in Steinway’s proprietary high-resolution format.
The piece can then be played back on the SPIRIO | r, which accurately reproduces every note played by the artist – and is virtually indistinguishable from the original. If the artist wishes to edit the piece, it can be immediately modified or refined using the high-resolution editor, integrated into the Spirio iPad App.
About Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance
A multidisciplinary French designer, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance is well-known for his sensitive attention to materials, a keen eye for details, as well as for a preference for organic forms. From his initial training as a sculptor, he has kept this innate aptitude for dialogue between space and object.
The duality between artistic vision and meticulous rigour, nature and the city, functionality and emotion flows seamlessly through his projects, whether in interior architecture (the Sketch in London, the Air France lounges, the chalet at La Transhumance) or in the design of furniture or objects (published by Ceccotti, Bernhardt Design, Ligne Roset, La Chance, Hermès, Saint-Louis, Revol), but also tailor-made for private clients or cultural institutions such as the Villa Medici.
Throughout his career, the French designer has always given pride of place to craftspeople, artistic professionals, and their working environments. In Portugal, where he now lives, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has been strengthening this dialogue with regional craftsmanship ever since he founded Made In Situ in 2019.
Born out of an exhibition space in Lisbon, this new chapter in his work establishes a series of interdisciplinary exchanges centred on people and their connections to their environment.
At Made in Situ, he places design at the heart of an ecosystem. “I sensed that my creations were going to assert their own unique identity. In a way, I wanted them to originate from some other place – from the elements and from people. The design would then simply blend them together.” – Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance.
For more information on the designer, visit https://www.noeduchaufourlawrance.com/
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