Thoughts on the Showroom

Whenever I visit a showroom, whether it is for a famous overseas piano such as a Steinway or a domestic upright piano, I can’t help but feel somewhat nervous. 

 I start with a warning, “Please don’t touch it,” and when I call the sales clerk, he or she stands next to me for a long time. Inwardly, I thought, “I just wanted to play a little…. I just wanted to play a little bit…” It is a common pattern that I would play one piece and then leave, because it is difficult to play freely.

 This happened to me when I visited a Steinway House in Berlin a long time ago. When I entered the store, there was no one there. I greeted them with a “Hello,” and they replied “Hello” from somewhere. As I wandered around looking at the pianos in the store, someone who looked like a clerk asked me, “Are you a traveler? Play as many as you like. Any of the pianos are OK. He quickly went away.

 I had the empty showroom all to myself and enjoyed playing the pianos for the next few hours. I even got a full Steinway with Rubinstein’s signature on it! It was truly a dream come true.

 Whenever I go to Europe, I visit piano shops as much as possible, and I feel very comfortable because they do not interfere with customers in a good way.

 Why are piano shops in Japan so cramped – I wondered. One day, I came across a surprising sight. A person who had come to buy a piano was looking at the piano with a magnifying glass in his hand. There was no way a magnifying glass could detect the sound. Of course, he was looking for minor flaws. I remember being strangely convinced that this was one of the reasons why piano shops in Japan had to be so cautious.

 Our store deals mainly with vintage pianos. We do not try to make the exteriors as beautiful as new. This is partly because we want to keep the selling price low, but above all because it is more natural to keep them as they were then. If a person lives for several decades, many wrinkles will appear. If there were no wrinkles in spite of aging, it would be almost strange, and I would like you to enjoy a vintage piano as much as possible as it was in its original state.

 If it is within the bounds of decency, a piano will not be affected by a trial run. We do not have a specialized concierge, so please do not be nervous about trying out a piano. Once you find a piano with which you are truly compatible, you will not be able to stay away from it, and it will become a constant source of interest to you. And when that happens, we’d be greatful for you to own it!

Steinway House Berlin Exterior 1
Steinway House Berlin Exterior 2