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Image source: Seabamirum on Flickr

Legendary Steinway & Sons pianos are made right in Astoria, and the factory played a huge part in the development of the neighborhood starting in 1870. The history of this company town is just one of the many fascinating topics we learned about on the highly recommended Steinway factory tour.

Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 in Manhattan by Henry Steinway (originally Heinrich Steinweg), a cabinet maker from Germany who had built his first piano in the kitchen of his home.

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Image source: Queens YWCA – a past competitor at the New York Music Competition

It’s time again for young musicians to start thinking about the New York Music Competition; young pianists, violinists, and cellists are invited to apply. The prize is a performance at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall for the first and second place winners. The Grand Prize Winner will also be invited to perform a special recital at the YWCA of Queens, who is a co-sponsor of this event, along with the Korea Daily, a Korean-language paper based in LIC.

The competition is now in its sixteenth year, and the organizers estimate that more than 400 winners of the competition have been able to have a career in music.

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Image source: Christopher Payne, via Bonni Benrubi Gallery 

The Steinway & Sons piano factory at the northern tip of Astoria (GMAP) has gotten a lot of love recently. Photographer Christopher Payne took a series of fascinating shots of pianos at all stages of the manufacturing process. He has captured the beauty of the wooden materials, mechanical parts, and precise work that goes into making the legendary instruments.