Covet: Mikko Nissinen pursues the grandest piano

Settling into the Boston Ballet’s new performance home at the Opera House has kept Finnish-born artistic director Mikko Nissinen on his, ahem, toes. The historic space, at which the 52-member company debuts this fall, is perfect—minus one key piece. Eight years ago, while dancing with the San Francisco Ballet, Nissinen fell in love with that troupe’s Steinway piano, a 9-foot concert grand. “When I got to the Boston Ballet, I was surprised we didn’t have one,” he says. “A Steinway is the ultimate instrument. It represents the pursuit of perfection that is so parallel to ballet and dance.” Though Nissinen can’t play the blacks and whites himself (“only in my dreams!”), he imagines one day watching his dancers perform to Ligeti and Stravinsky compositions resonating from a piano like this $134,900 Henry Z. Steinway Limited Edition. “Music is the backbone of dance,” he notes. “To have incredible music elevates the whole game.”