According to BBC News, Billy Joel has become the first non-classical musician to be honored by legendary piano manufacturers Steinway & Sons with a portrait in their Steinway Hall in New York City.
Joel’s portrait will hang next to a painting of the late, widely-acclaimed Vladimir Horowitz, a Russian-American pianist and one of Joel’s personal idols. The new portrait was painted by Paul Wyse, whose previous portraits of award-winning pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher are part of the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection in Washington, D.C.
Joel was honored to be recognized by Steinway & Sons, saying, “They make pianos the old-fashioned way. They’re not mass-produced. They’re hand-crafted. When you find a great Steinway, it’s a phenomenal piano. There’s a quirkiness in individually produced pianos that I appreciate, sort of like handmade guitars.”