Pianos are among the most popular instruments in the world of music. Some of the most famous artists of recent decades have demonstrated their pianistic talents on stage. And some have their own pianos that accompany them wherever they go.
Most of them have spent huge sums of money to acquire their own piano, to which they have become accustomed and whose keyboard they have perfected.
Pianos of all kinds have been sold for thousands of dollars or even millions. If you’re wondering what the most expensive pianos look like and what they’re worth, this article presents the 11 most expensive pianos in the world. These are some of the finest pianos available, but they’re still affordable!
The Piano from the film Casablanca ($3,410,000)
The piano that inspired Ingrid Bergman’s famous quote from Casablanca, “Play it, Sam”, sold at auction in 2014 for $3.4 million.
The piano played a key role in the iconic 1942 film, where it stood at the center of Rick’s Cafe and served as a safe place for Humphrey Bogart’s “letters of transit”.”
The auction notice states that the piano’s lid was in fact modified so that Bogart could easily conceal the documents inside.
The piano is painted with Moroccan themes.
This piano is an amazing piece of cinema history, even if we don’t see it in the film. Actor Dooley Wilson, who played Sam, was unable to play the piano, so he reproduced the hand movements on the piano while a real pianist played off-screen.
The Crystal Heintzman Piano ($3,220,000)
As its name suggests, this masterpiece of transparency is made entirely of crystal, and was designed to be played in huge concert halls or huge concert halls.
Indeed, considering that it was unveiled to the world at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, where it was played to an audience of over a billion people.
The instrument was created by Canadian piano manufacturer Heintzman. This incredibly well-made instrument was dismantled prematurely after its only performance, then sold at auction to an unidentified buyer for $3.22 million.
Steinway Pictures at an exhibition ($2,500,000)
Currently the most expensive piano on the market, this instrument was created, painted, unveiled and played by Steinway master craftsman Paul Wyse. The $2.5 million price tag, though extremely high, is evident in the exquisite detailing of this masterpiece.
The piano took four years to build and is the first Steinway piano inspired by a musical composition.
The piano’s name refers to Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky‘ s seminal work Pictures at an Exhibition, composed of ten movements and depicting a musical journey through an art gallery.
Each movement is an interpretation of a painting created by Moussorgsky’s close friend Viktor Hartmann.
This piano masterpiece includes these paintings, as well as an image of the composer Modest Mussorgsky himself. The piano legs are Russian cuckoo clocks, while the custom-made bench is in traditional medieval Russian style. The piano’s gold and white color palette perfectly reflects the Russian imperial style.
The Stainway Fibonnaci ($2,400,000)
To commemorate the 600,000th Steinway piano, master craftsman Frank Pollaro handcrafted this grand piano, nicknamed “Fibonacci”, from natural Macassar ebony.
The piano’s veneer features the famous Fibonacci spiral, composed of six individual Macassar ebony logs, resulting in an elegant design that embodies the geometric harmony found in nature.
The lines of the Fibonacci spiral that runs along the top of the lid have been extended to the unique curved base.
The synthetic ivory inlay adds a stunning visual effect to the design, and also features distinct accents of patinated bronze.
In all, more than 6,000 hours over a four-year period were devoted to the Fibonacci, from conception to completion. It’s a truly stunning masterpiece that even Fibonacci and Mr. Steinway would be proud of.
The John Lennon Steinway Model Z ($2,100,000)
Surprisingly, this piano is an ordinary faded brown Steinway upright that has been burned by cigarettes over the decades.
But since the famous song Imagine was written about it and it has become a historical landmark. It’s one of the most expensive Steinway pianos around.
Although John Lennon initially paid £1,000 for the piano, George Michael acquired it in 2000 following an auction between the Oasis brothers and Robbie Williams.
The final price was $2.1 million, later considered the highest price paid for pianos in the Guinness Book of Records.
Steinway Red Pops Pour (RED) ($1,925,000)
Red is one of the most captivating and spectacular colors there is. If red is as rich as it gets, white and red are two colors that bring out wealth and luxury.
Bono, lead singer of U2, was the inspiration for this piano. He wanted a two-tone piano to be the centerpiece of the auction (RED) held in New York in 2013. It was organized in aid of a charity that aimed to fight AIDS and tuberculosis as well as malaria in Africa.
Bono’s prediction proved correct, and this piano was among the most expensive items in the auction, bringing in an impressive $1.925 million for the charity.
The Stainway Sound Of Harmony ($1,630,000)
The price is $1.63 million This piano took four years to build, as it was designed specifically for a Chinese art lover called Guo Qingxiang.
Its unique design features 40 different types of wood, from rosewood to ash to ebony, giving the instrument an extremely authentic sound.
The lid is decorated with a work of art by Chinese artist Shi Qi, and Steinway made sure that everyone knew he was the designer, by engraving his name in crystallized gold, not in ink like other pianos.
The Galaxy Piano ($1,360,000)
When you look at it, it looks like an instrument straight out of the pages of a Dr. Seuss book, but it’s actuallya real instrument, christened the Galaxy Piano. It’s the eighth most expensive piano on the planet, and sold for $1.36 million.
This futuristic piano was created for those with an eye for detail, which is why it features an aluminum body with a 24-carat gold-plated finish. It also features an automatic lid and curved keys. This is a unique piano, of which there are only five, and if you’re looking to buy one, you’ll need to find the owners and send an offer directly.
The Kuhn-Bosendorfer Piano ($1,000,000)
This piano is an astonishing masterpiece, the result of a collaboration between Austrian musician L. Bosendorfer and John Kuhn, a famous glass sculptor.
The Bosendorfer model is based on the model 225. Construction of this limited-edition 2.5-meter black grand piano took more than a full year (it was revealed in 2009) and required around 100,000 hand-cut and hand-polished glasses. The diamond-shaped glass gives the piano a sophisticated, refined look.
The Steinway Alma-Tadema ($1,200,000)
What can we say about this piano? Other than that it’s a work of art.
It has been in use since its creation in 1887 by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, a name unfamiliar to most people. 100 years later, the famous piano manufacturer Steinway and Sons produced an exact replica of the original piano, complete with intricately worked, hand-carved brass lyre, case, lid and legs, as well as mother-of-pearl parts.
The original piano sold for $54,538. Later, after inflation came into play and drove everything up, the Steinway replica was put on the market and did better, selling for $1.2 million.
Marilyn Morroe piano ($662,500)
There’s something feminine and elegant about white, so much so that anything that touches it is more elegant. Such is the case with an iconic figure of Hollywood class and notoriety, the beautiful Marilyn Monroe herself!
The stunning white piano shown above once belonged to Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood actress, and was among her most prized and sought-after possessions. It originally belonged to her mother, Gladys, but Marilyn found the piano had been sold years before her mother’s death. It quickly became as valuable to her as Marilyn’s famous image is to the rest of us around the world.
Finally, after Marilyn’s flame was tragically extinguished all too quickly, the piano found its way into the hands of a famous person who is now in awe of the piano’s legendary past, Mariah Carey, who bought it for $662,500.