Notes from the STEINWAY & SONS Model C piano’s owner (former student of Martha Argerich):

I don’t know where Steinway sold the piano originally. I might be able to learn that information.

That said… not much is known about this instrument’s first 79 years of life. It originated at STEINWAY & SONS New York / Estoria factor as one of the VERY VERY first 88-note Model C semi-concert grand pianos… likely one of the first half dozen, or so.

In 1963, the piano was discovered by Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn as a possible performance instrument for her son, Van Cliburn, who – in 1958 at age 23 – had taken first prize in the world’s biggest piano competition, the INAUGURAL INTERNATIONAL TCHAIKOWSKY PIANO COMPETITION. The story goes that Van’s father purchased that Model C piano and had it sent to STEINWAY & SONS for installation of a new soundboard, new bridges, new pinblock and new bass and treble strings. The piano also received new repetition levers and new hammers, shanks and flanges. Craftsmen at the Steinway Estoria factory performed this work in 1964.

Around the time of the piano’s return from Steinway, Van had fallen in love with a more recent Steinway instrument, a Model D 9-foot concert grand. A deal was struck for purchase of that Model D piano.

Rildia Cliburn, not just Van’s mother but also his esteemed piano teacher, then spread word of the availability of the carefully restored Model C piano. Sure enough, wealthy parents of one of her students snapped it up immediately. The piano was played sparingly and would remain a treasured heirloom to that family for the next 57 years, until 2021.

Fast forward to today: The cabinet is in 9.5/10 condition, having had some recent refinishing. The action parts show only minimal wear; the hammers have plenty of felt on them and provide a big, warm and projective tone, indicative of large Steinway grand piano of its era.

In the last two months, the piano has undergone full preparation, lubrication, regulation, voicing, and concert tuning.

The piano has excellent tuning stability and boasts a tremendous sustain and clarity of tone, fit for any pianist or connoisseur of fine Steinway instruments.

A brief look into Model C history:

The Model C was discontinued by STEINWAY & SONS New York factory in 1905, yet remained available “by special order” until 1936, making it one of the rarest and most sought-after Steinway scale designs ever. Legendary pianists, such as Joseph Hoffman, preferred AND toured nationwide with a Model C for solo recital engagements. He loved its clarity of tone and powerful, fundamental-oriented voice.

I feel certain that the piano’s new owner will enjoy this rare and remarkable – do I dare to say ‘irreplaceable’ – piece of musical history by investing into this fine piano.

Nic Cherpelis –

Louis Spencer-Smith
Senior Piano Technician



C / 7’5″ (227 cm)

Ebony Satin – hand rubbed

Year / Serial # / Restoration
1885 / 59611 / 1964 Steinway restored

Matching artist bench

Manufacturer’s Price

Showroom Price

Online Sale Price

Shipping logistics included

Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona – U.S.A.