Grand designs

If you know a fine way to treat a Steinway, then get your ivory- tickling digits down to Steinway Hall this weekend for an unprecedented open-house event at the legendary home of the piano. Three showrooms will be laden with more than 55 gleaming examples of the piano-maker's art, from modest uprights to concert grands, which can cost up to pounds 69,000. But it's free to mosey along and pick out "Fur Elise" on any of these prime sex-on-legs artefacts - including those recently played by Kissin, Pogorelich and Schiff - and throughout the weekend there will be presentations on piano design and construction from master craftsmen. Restoration, restringing and polishing will all be demonstrated, and members of the public are welcome to try their hand at tuning a piano. This weekend will be a rare spot in the limelight for the unsung piano technicians who work together with performers for up to three months before a concert, getting to know the players' precise requirements, and then have to pick up the pieces afterwards - many celebrated pianists, like Beethoven, have been reputed to leave their instruments in completely unplayable condition after a few hours at the stool. Also on show will be examples of the Boston, Steinway's new range of more affordable pianos, which start at a measly pounds 4,000 for an upright - less than a car, and a lot better for the environment.

STEVEN POOLE

Steinway Hall, 44 Marylebone Lane, London W1 (0171-487 3391) 10.30am- 4.30pm Sat, Sun, free

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