There are few images quite as iconic as John Lennon playing Imagine on his Steinway & Sons grand piano. The song itself, what it evokes in the listener—to ‘imagine’ a world at peace, without ‘possessions,’ ‘greed,’ or ‘hunger’—transmits a simple message made more universal by the symbolic nature of performing in a white room on a white piano.
The famous grand, purchased in 1971 as a birthday gift to his wife and collaborator Yoko Ono, is often confused with the Steinway upright “Model Z,” the one George Michaels purchased at auction for $2.37 Million and then donated to a Liverpool museum. Though the white grand is seen in the 1972 Imagine documentary, and was used to record the song Imagine at his home studio in Tittenhurst Park, the upright is the piano he used to actually write the song.
In 2010, Steinway & Sons—wanting to commemorate John Lennon's 70th birthday—created the “Imagine” Limited Edition Series. Each piano includes a drawing by John Lennon and a portion of the lyrics of his iconic song along with his signature.
In addition, some of the proceeds from each piano will be donated to the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, "a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility [...] dedicated to providing young people with tours of the studios and participation in free songwriting and multimedia production workshops."