Friday, May 4, 2018

The Making of the Steinway White House Piano in Miniature

This short, but powerful documentary tells the story of Paul Gentile and his 16 year quest to build an exact, functional 1/7 scale replica of the famed original White House Steinway piano. The original White House Steinway, serial number 100,000, was donated to the American people in 1903 to show the Steinway family's gratitude, as an immigrant family that lived out the "American Dream" in creating a successful business in New York City, beginning in 1853. That famous piano is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian Institution, and was replaced by another famous piano in the White House (Steinway serial number 300,000, donated in 1938). In replicating the piano, Paul Gentile had to painstakingly re-create over 12,000 individual parts - often creating custom 1/7 scale machinery and tools in order to create parts of the piano in the same way the master artisans at Steinway & Sons create the full-sized versions. As Paul mentions, there were many immense hurdles, and many times he thought he was at a dead-end, but he persevered and eventually achieved his goal, which some describe as "incredible" while others describe as "insane" - though it's probably a little bit of both. To find out more about this incredible work of art, visit

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