Most Expensive Pianos of All Time, Ranked by Value
Pianos are generally expensive instruments. While there are cheaper piano options available, costly pianos are still plentiful. So you may be accustomed to hearing about people spending thousands of dollars on their personal grand piano, but you may not be aware that there are plenty of people who will shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars on the instrument. And even a handful of piano connoisseurs who are willing to spend literally millions on the perfect piano.
Some people who love to tickle the keys prefer each key to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. These mind-blowingly expensive pianos are incredible on a lot of levels. Most of them are literal works of art that also have the ability to make music. Others may seem a bit more standard on the surface but have something spectacular in their history. And others, well, their extravagance speaks for itself.
These are the most expensive pianos of all time, ranked in order of their value.
30. Blüthner Hive Extravaganza
Price: At least $200,000
The out-of-this-world galactic design of this futuristic-looking piano makes it clear that this is no ordinary instrument purchase. But what’s crazy about this piano is that its modern design is actually the description of a whole series of totally functional and totally unique-looking pianos from Lucid Blünther.
They’re structured and sound like a regular grand piano but with a see-through body and abstract design that’s meant to make you feel like you’re in a beehive. They come with customizable color combinations that add a sense of pizazz, which doesn’t come cheaply. Their starting price is a hefty $200,000, and they only go up from there.
29. Schimmel Pegasus
Price: Around $350,000
This is another limited edition line of pianos that are only available to people willing to open their pockets (with the assumption that they already have deep pockets). This customizable grand piano almost looks like it’s floating with only one clear leg holding it up and the other two seeming to meld into the chair itself. It has a curved body that even looks like it could fly, which is apparently part of the inspiration from the designer Luigi Colani.
These pianos are only built when requested and to the specifications the buyer requests. And no more than two are built per year.
28. Bogányi Piano
Price: At least $375,000
Like the Hive Extravaganza, there are a handful of these pianos available for sale. The famous Hungarian piano prodigy Gergely Bogányi redesigned the basic piano structure in many ways that are clearly visible in the piano itself.
Rather than having multiple legs, two large wedges merge together for one solid foundation. And the corners have been smoothed out for a more rounded look. But that’s only the cosmetic stuff. The piano itself is designed for superior sound quality based on the musician’s own lifetime of playing with and loving the instrument.
27. Erard La Mort du Cygne
This stunning piano is handcrafted out of mahogany with details galore. A collaboration between artist Louis Majorelle and Victor Prouvé, this French piano features the story of “The Dying Swan” (as its name translates) on its side. Even though it’s carved into the mahogany, the pictures almost look golden.
The piano is in pristine condition, despite the fact that it is well over 100 years old. And it’s even signed by Victor Prouvé. There are four known versions of this piano.
26. Blünther Supreme Edition with 24K Gold Inlaid Lid
Price: At least $420,000
The description itself might offer some insight into how and why this gorgeous piano is so expensive. It is laden with so much gold detail that it’s hard to see past it to hear the melodious sounds of the keys.
The Blünther piano family has long held an awesome reputation amongst baby grand piano connoisseurs. And when you add the “supreme” element to their name, it truly goes above and beyond to be designed carefully and with unquestioning quality. For only several thousand dollars extra, you can get an exquisite all-gold design under the piano’s lid.
25. Fazioli Gold Leaf
Price: About $535,000
Much like the name implies, this piano goes for the gold. This custom-made piano (which is available for order for those interested) is everything you’d want in a grand piano in terms of both sound and construction quality.
The piano creator, Paolo Fazioli, originally set out to make a superior piano combining his love for the instrument and his background in engineering. And while there are many quality pianos for sale under the brand, this one is covered in (you guessed it) all gold with a shiny finish that helps the gold keep its shimmer.
24. The Green Casablanca Piano (aka the ‘Tiny Piano’)
This is the companion piano to one of the most expensive pianos on this list. But this smaller and otherwise standard-looking piano was also featured in the movie "Casablanca."
It’s the piano that drinks are poured on as Humphrey Bogart pours one last toast with Ingrid Bergman and delivers the iconic “Here’s looking at you, kid” line for which the movie is famous. Because of that incredible moment in shared cultural history, this piano was auctioned for several hundred thousand dollars more than it would get otherwise.
23. Elvis’ Gold Leaf Piano
This gold leaf piano was given to Elvis by his love, Pricilla Presley. He already had the piano, but she had it covered with the shimmering gold for their first anniversary in 1968. After he died, a collector bought the piano for around $2 million.
But in 2015, the Hard Rock Cafe bought the instrument for at least $610,000 (though auction records won’t disclose the price beyond the listing number). It now sits in a (hopefully not Heartbreak) hotel in Tampa Bay, Florida, on a shimmering, decorative floor and protected by gold ropes.
22. Marilyn Monroe’s Baby Grand
Whenever there’s a star (movie or rock ‘n' roll) attached to a piano’s story, you know it’s going to cost big bucks. The beloved white-lacquered baby grand piano that once belonged to the icon Marilyn Monroe now belongs to Mariah Carey. The piano had sentimental value to Monroe who noted that some of her happiest times with her mother were around that piano and went to great lengths to find it.
Mariah Carey has talked openly about how Marilyn Moroe helped her through her own difficult childhood. And as long as the song “All I Want For Christmas” exists and is played nonstop at Christmas, she won’t need to sell that piano for the cash anytime soon.
21. Fazioli M Liminal by NYT Line
Price: At least $695,000
Mixing fire and water, this impeccably designed piano is quite clearly the top of the line. Like many of these luxury pianos, very few are made. Each one is made uniquely with a small team of gifted artisans who create visual art that musicians can turn into musical art.
It’s, of course, crafted for optimum sound quality, but it’s also meant to inspire visions of the sea with its conical shapes and shiny, almost wet-looking finish. But the red soundboard lights a fire into the instrument that is perfect for people with money to burn. Or, rather, to invest in an extremely expensive piano. It depends on your perspective.
20. Bösendorfer Opus 50
When you buy a Bösendorfer piano, it’s well-known in the musical world that you get nine extra keys with it. But it’s also pretty well known that those keys will cost you. This piano model was created to celebrate the 185th birthday of the classic piano brand, and it does not skimp on luxury or detail.
Along with those nine extra keys, this particular model features a multitude of woods – French burlwood, maple, pear and walnut. They’re sculpted together to create a gorgeous finish that is highlighted with hand-painted 24K gold on various details throughout the body.
19. Fazioli Aria by NYT Line
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince any beholder of this magnificent piano that it isn’t beautiful. While some luxury pianos from Fazioli can be made to order, only one of these exists.
The piano's midnight blue and silver reflective finishes make it simultaneously stand out and blend into its surroundings. Plus, its futuristic curved design and the hints of asymmetry in the overall structure add to why this incredible piano came with such an incredible price tag.
18. Kawai Crystal Grand
Price: At least $920,000
Though the name may say crystal, this piano is actually mostly made of industrial-grade acrylic. The see-through finish allows curious users to see each of the inner workings of the soundboard and strings. The see-through body is met with a polished silver finish on the sides that give it the perfect mix of transparent and reflective.
Each piano is built to the specifications of the buyer, so each one will not only have a slightly unique look, but it will also sound distinct. They start just short of a million dollars and go up quickly from there.
17. Blüthner Lucid EXO
Price: At least $960,000
One look at this piano, and you may wonder if you’re looking at a musical instrument or a gorgeous sculpture that slightly resembles a traditional piano. And that is part of the idea here. This piano is, of course, customizable in its finishes, as you’d hope for that price.
But the modern and open outline-style design of the structure itself is what really makes this piano stand apart. It may almost seem like there’s nothing but some sculpture and keys, but it has the resonance and musicality of a top-of-the-line grand piano.
15. Elton John’s Yamaha 'Million Dollar' Piano (Tie)
Price: About $1 million
A piano built for a true showman, this instrument melds innovative technology with classic piano sounds. Built specifically for Elton John by Yamaha, the rockstar requested a piano that felt like it came out of nowhere. As a result, this piano was created with its acrylic legs that reflect the lights and sounds on the stage around him.
It also has leather paneling to resemble its one-of-a-kind sportscar-like nature. And the instrument itself displays lights, sounds and various graphics that act almost like a cloak to add to the overall visual spectacle of the concert.
15. Bogányi Bat Piano (Tie)
Price: About $1 million
While you can buy a Bogányi piano for a mere several hundred thousand dollars, this “Bat Piano” is especially exclusive. The sleek black piano was worked on by the musician himself for over 8,000 hours just to perfect and tweak some of the basic piano structures that hadn’t been reimagined in over 100 years.
It cost him nearly $1 million of his own money in order to construct it. The end result, however, according to people who have heard it, are tones that sound like heaven in a spaceship.
12. Steinway & Sons Alma-Tadema (Tie)
Price: $1.2 million
While some pianos may be created to inspire the feel of an art piece, this one is meant to look like a literal piece of art. Designed in 1887 by the famous artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, every element of this one-of-a-kind piano is meant to elicit emotion. From the smooth details on the legs and body to the all-out painting on the front panel, no part of this piano has gone overlooked.
And considering it hasn’t been on the market in over 20 years, there’s a solid chance it would be valued even higher should it ever be auctioned again.
12. Kuhn Bösendorfer Grand Piano (Tie)
Price: $1.2 million
This limited-edition line of pianos melds the durability of a Bösendorfer with the artistic flair of one of the world’s leading glass artists. The concert grand itself has over 100,000 cold-cut glass crystals carefully designed throughout it.
The artist collaborated closely with the brand to protect the integrity of the overall sound while still adding an undeniably stunning beauty and flair to the instrument. While it may not technically be one-of-a-kind, only a few of these models are available. And, as you may have guessed, they aren’t cheap.
12. C. Bechstein Sphinx (Tie)
Price: $1.2 million
This piano is fit for a king in both looks and price tag. Built from a single picture of a lost old royal piano, this majestic work of art combines deep, rich mahogany with detailed wood craftsmanship and gold accents on every curve (including royal-looking gold paws on the feet of both the piano and the bench).
Total production on this literal work of art took over 32 months to create. On top of all the embellishments and eye-catching details, it also retains a superior sound quality. It doesn’t yet seem to have a buyer, but that hasn’t stopped it from making the rounds around the world in various musical and visual showcases.
11. Galaxy Piano
Price: Averaging around $1.36 million
Another luxury must-have for piano lovers around the world, these instruments look other-worldly. And that is very much by design. Only five of these were ever created, and each one was tweaked to fit the buyer’s request. At least one was covered in gold. Another was covered in crystals. And some are outfitted so you don’t even need a (human) player at all in order to create music.
Admittedly, this brand is more interested in visual art than the sound resonance created by the instrument. But for some luxury buyers, that’s music to their ears.
10. Steinway & Sons Sound of Harmony Concert Grand
Price: $1.63 million
Melding ebony, ashwood, rosewood and 40 other kinds of wood into an incredible work of art with sculptures and almost painting-like woodworking, it’s no wonder this piano is valued as high as it is. The artwork on the lid is meant to replicate the Chinese painter Shi Qi.
The piano took four years to create and is owned, understandably, by an art collector (rather than a concert pianist). And, on top of all that, the sound quality remains impeccable.
9. Steinway & Sons Red Pops for RED Parlor Grand
Price: $1.925 million
If you’re going to spend almost $2 million on a piano, it might as well be for a good cause. Oh, and it should be beautiful, of course. That’s at least what the purchaser of this special-edition Steinway & Sons Red Pops must have been thinking when they purchased this incredibly eye-catching piano.
Though you can buy variations of this piano style in any color, this particular piano (white with red inlay) is one-of-its-kind and was auctioned for the purpose of raising funds for charity. The charity was RED, a company co-founded by Bono that helps raise awareness of the AIDS crisis and funds solutions.
8. Bösendorf Swarovski Crystal VS
Price: At least $2.1 million
Only four of these decadent pianos were ever made — perhaps because they may have run out of crystals after creating them. No matter which angle you use to gaze at this stunning piano, it sparkles. The piano itself is already one of the best-sounding pianos on the market.
This design, inspired by Vegas, adds 8,000 Swarovski crystals, gilded legs and a shining silver body finish onto the piano for pure decadence. It’s a true feast for both the eyes and the ears.
7. John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z
Price: At least $2.37 million
What’s in a name? Well, in this case, millions of dollars are what. This otherwise standard piano is what John Lennon composed his iconic hit “Imagine” on. It can be seen in snippets of the music video created for the song, though most people tend to focus on the bigger, shinier, white piano also in the video.
This piano was part of Beatles history in many ways. It was purchased by another rockstar, George Michael, who donated it to the Liverpool museum so it could be on public display in perpetuity, but always have a home in London.
6. Steinway & Sons Fibonacci
Price: $2.4 million
In honor of its 600,000th piano, the Steinway & Sons company decided to go big. Inspired by the fascinating Fibonacci sequence in mathematics (which is mirrored in nature), the piano brand created a fascination Fibonacci piano that brings a similar harmony, balance and visual happiness as the petals of the flower.
Across the handcrafted mahogany design are the circular shells, one of the places the sequence is most prominent in nature. In a goal to balance perfection, proportions and beauty, this piano seems to do it all.
5. Steinway & Sons Pictures at an Exhibition
Price: $2.5 million
Inspired by the famous piano pieces of the same name, this piano weaves whimsy and wonder together to create something, well, wonderful. Pulling from Russian history, folklore and culture, every detail on this piano represents something mythical or musical.
It isn’t just a work of art, it literally shows a gallery of art that people are enjoying on the piano itself. Artist Paul Wyse meticulously integrated Russian fairytales and history to create something as unique as it is unforgettable.
4. Heintzman Crystal Piano
Price: $3.22 million
While some pianos have crystal decorations on them and others give the appearance of crystal but use a much stronger structure for the body itself, this piano is exactly what it sounds like. It is a gorgeous grand piano made almost entirely out of crystal.
Because of its likely fragility, it doesn’t get shown off like many of its counterparts. But, in the 2008 Olympics, it wowed the world with a performance from global piano superstar musician, Lang Lang.
3. The Casablanca Piano
Price: $3.4 million
While this piano may not have all the bells and whistles of many of its counterparts, its value comes from something intangible – history and culture. The piano is, as its name implies, the most famous piano from the movie "Casablanca." It’s the piano that “As Time Goes By” is played on.
It’s also the piano the letters of transit were hidden in. It reminds people of both a time in real-life history and a time in movie history. It may be simple, but its price tag reminds you just how valuable a feeling can make even the simplest objects valuable.
2. The Queen’s S&P Hand Painted Erard Piano
This piano was thrust into the spotlight after the 2018 Christmas Day Queen’s speech, where people noticed the decadent instrument in the background and immediately had questions. It was uniquely created for Queen Victoria and gifted to her in 1856. While others of its kind may only cost in the measly (at least for royalty) six-figure range, this one is incredibly special.
It’s gorgeous, golden and was made for what it continues to do – stealing the show. Because of the piano’s impeccable maintenance and irreplaceable history, it’s impossible to know just how valuable it might be in the private sector. But suffice it to say, it would easily cost a buyer millions of dollars.
1. Mozart’s Fortepiano
After a rare photo identified what seemed to be just a cool old piano as one Mozart (yes the Mozart) used to compose some of his most iconic music, this antique piece transformed from cool to almost incalculably valuable. Thanks to a historian’s discovery of this very piano in a painting, it was likely used by both Mozart and Haydn. And it may even be the piano he mentioned while writing to his father. In short, he loved that piano.
While there are other Mozart pianos available in museums, this one seems to be still owned by a private buyer who, "Antique Roadshow" style, had no idea the value of what they were buying. Since he’s one of the most celebrated composers in all of classical music, the piano is basically the rockstar of all pianos. Considering a mere letter from Mozart can be auctioned for over $200,000, it’s fair to say that one of the instruments he loved and used regularly would easily go for a whole lot more.