In 2015, Steinway & Sons launched a line of Grand pianos that, with the help of an iPad, allowed owners to tap into an archive of performances by some of the world’s top players, and have the piano play them back. Now the iconic maker has introduced the next generation of this piano – the Spirio | r – which can record a musician’s own live performance and play it back, while also allowing for tweaking and sharing through a companion app.
The original Spirio piano could certainly be played by musicians, but it was also aimed at well-heeled listeners. It came supplied with an iPad, onto which was loaded an app that gave listeners access to an ever-growing list of piano performances from top players and current Steinway artists – of which there are more than 2,000 – and legendary players from yesteryear, including Duke Ellington and Art Tatum.
When music was selected, the piano would start to reproduce the chosen piece, perfectly. This was no player piano from a dusty saloon in an old western, Steinway promised a level of accuracy that would make a Spirio experience virtually indistinguishable from a live performance. It would, in effect, be just like having the artists themselves playing live in the room.