The Art of Rebuilding Steinway to Preserve the Golden Era

By Shiwen Rong

Throughout history, Steinway has been the most sought-after piano for many pianists.

Sara Faust, an award-winning pianist, is now the president of Faust Harrison Pianos. “I don’t remember people’s names but I remember all my pianos,” she said. “We’re considered the premier Steinway rebuilders in the world.”

After the industrial revolution, the world became louder. People started to prefer louder sounds, and the subtler, more refined qualities were eroded.

“We preferred the old star in ways that were built before [the] 1950s. The old Steinways had a beautiful soul and characteristics that is hard to find new Steinways.”

The Faust family hopes to keep the golden era of the old Steinways alive by combining the best of both worlds into their rebuilt pianos.

There are about a dozen people involved in the work and it takes at least eight months to rebuild.

The shell of the piano, the cast iron, and the keybed are kept in their original form. Everything else is replaced and custom-built.

“So, it becomes basically a brand new instrument,” Sara added. “We have a lot of control over the final sound, and we try and be as authentic to the original philosophy, the original parts as possible now those parts no longer exist.”

In keeping with the golden era and her passion for traditional music, with the hope that traditional music will stay alive, she said: “It’s something that’s so good about human beings and in a world where there’s so much that’s not so good it’s so important to caring for.”