Developing an exclusive Steinway Limited Edition in the style of the Elbphilharmonie arrived as a logical consequence of two outstanding Hamburg brands sharing much more than music. The Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg´s newest landmark, has become a unique architectural masterpiece as a quantifiable result of talented creative minds and through the finest craftsmanship and materials, highest standards, and attention to detail — values which are also highly visible in Steinway & Sons’ Hamburg factory.
As the crucial element for this Elbphilharmonie Edition, Steinway picked up on the fascinating design of the shimmering, spherically curved windows of the Elbphilharmonie’s glass facade — and therefore brought aboard Thorsten Boehm. The Hamburg–based multi- award-winning freelance artist applied the design on the inside of eight grand-piano lids, giving a unique “soul” to each instrument. Thanks to his craftsmanship, “each of the approximately 1,500 dots literally has an individual character," the 44-year-old designer explains. Using a magnifier as well as a scalpel, he first handcut the 6-to-18-millimeter-sized dots from an adhesive foil stencil and then laminated them onto the wood strip by strip.
With his airbrush, filled with fine silver metallic base coat, Boehm provided every single point with a subtle layer of colour. While the results are extremely accurate, in every design one can find the finest, barely noticeable deviations, making every point unique — just as every handmade Steinway grand is unique. The artist puts it this way: “Where something organic arises, life arises.” For Boehm, those thousands of silver dots aren´t merely decorative – they bring “spirit” to each instrument. "When someone looks at the Steinway grand and is touched by its appearance, I have actually reached my goal,” he says. Boehm devoted himself a hundred hours to each individual lid. In our reproducible instant-art world, he believes the task of art also is to bring humans back to being human.