A dedication ceremony and unveiling took place on Monday December 12, 2011 at Steinway Hall on West 57th Street, in historic Room Number 5. Billy became a Steinway artist in 1992, and has played Steinway pianos on his many tours around the world. Billy’s Waltz #2, which appears on the “Fantasies & Delusions” album, was written in the Rachmaninoff Room with the melody fresh in his mind and a grand painting of Rachmaninoff staring down on him. The final recording of Waltz #2 was subtitled “Steinway Hall” in fond appreciation. Billy’s “Fantasies & Delusions” album was most recently included in “The Complete Albums Collection.”
Joel’s likeness is the only non-classical artist in the Steinway Art Collection and joins those of Beethoven, Berlioz, Chopin, Cortot, Grainger, Fleisher, Handel, Hofmann, Horowitz, Janis, Mendelssohn, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Anton Rubinstein, Arthur Rubinstein, Schubert and Wagner.
The painter Paul Wyse is a trained concert pianist and Steinway artist. Wyse has won praise as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. An active performer, he has appeared in concert with some of the world’s leading musicians, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Vladimir Feltsman and Leon Fleisher among others. For more information on Paul, visit www.wysefineart.com.
Before Steinway Hall was built in 1925, Steinway & Sons commissioned esteemed American artists to create paintings that would evoke a rich visual landscape throughout Steinway Hall. Original oil paintings depict the great composers and legendary pianists. Many distinguished artists are represented, including Rockwell Kent, N.C . Wyeth and Charles Chambers, overall creating the effect of an elegant art museum where grand pianos are on display.
About Steinway & Sons
Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value. Handcrafting each Steinway requires up to one full year, and the result is an instrument of rare quality and global
renown. Not surprisingly, Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world. More information is available at
The video below shows the complete unveiling of Billy’s portrait. Further below, you can watch additional interview videos with Billy at Steinway Hall, and read related articles.
Billy Joel receives Steinway Hall portrait honour – BBC News
Billy Joel Becomes First Pop Musician Honored by Steinway Hall – Rolling Stone
Dr. Paul Wyse Unveils Painting of Billy Joel at Steinway Hall in New York City – SUNY Potsdam