Samford University's Brock School of Business and School of the Arts welcomed Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons-Americas to campus Feb. 21 to speak on the entrepreneurship principles that have led the renowned piano maker to more than a century's worth of success.
"Our success is based upon what this piano is as a product," Losby said. "It is important to stay true to the quality, the workmanship and the materials."
With the company celebrating its 160th anniversary on March 5, Losby said Steinway & Sons has survived depressions, recessions, world wars and changing consumer tastes because the company has stood by its founding principles.
The company's founder, Henry Engelhard Steinway immigrated to America and started making pianos with his sons in 1853. The statement that guided the company then still guides them today: to build the best piano possible.
"We don't build a piano to a price point or a quality level, we build the best piano we possibly can," Losby said. "The importance for our company is that the inside of every Steinway is exactly the same. One may be larger than another, but the design, the materials and the workmanship are identical from piano to piano."
Before Losby spoke, Brian Nabors, a senior theory and composition major from Center Point, Ala., performed Aram Khachaturian's "Toccata" and Katherine Vest, a sophomore piano major from Odenville, Ala., played Rachmaninoff's "Etude in E-flat major" on one of Samford's Steinway pianos.
Losby has served as president of Steinway & Sons-Americas since 2008. Prior to his career at Steinway & Sons, he studied piano at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Julliard School in New York City.
Sarah Waller is a senior journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.