Strings Music Festival has added a new piano to its collection.
On Jan. 13, a team of directors, pianists and piano technicians went to New York City to hand-pick a grand piano from the Steinway & Sons piano factory.
It’s said that each Steinway piano has its own personality, so the team wanted to personally ensure it was getting the perfect one for the Strings Music Festival.
The “Steinway team” consisted of two pianists, David Deveau and Julie Coucheron; Strings piano technician Kathleen Allen; Strings Director of Artistic Administration Elissa Greene; and Strings Executive Director and CEO Kay Clagett.
Steinway & Sons boasts that it has been making the world’s finest pianos for more than 160 years, and they consistently live up to their reputation.
“We have dreamed of owning our own Steinway since 1988 when we began Strings,” Clagett said. “Twenty-seven years later and a very generous donor, Jennifer Lea, have made this dream come true. A Steinway piano is simply the best.”
Lea donated the money used to purchase the Steinway “D.” The piano is a Model D grand piano, measuring nearly 9 feet long and 5 feet wide.
“What we were looking for was one that had that unmistakable Steinway balance — no octave being sharper or more brilliant than the next,” Clagett said.
It came down to two of the five “D” pianos in the showroom. After several hours and a factory tour, the team chose the piano that truly played and sounded like a Steinway.
On Feb. 28, the Strings Music Festival will give the community an opportunity to hear the new Steinway “D” firsthand. This event also will serve as a fundraiser to support the new Steinway’s needs, such as a cover, piano tunings, a hydraulic lift and a bench.
In addition, the event also will raise money for a new “B” rehearsal piano to match the “D” performance piano. Strings needs three or four pianos for rehearsal and performances each summer, and they currently are being rented from Denver or sought out in people’s homes in the community.
“We need to replace our Pavilion rehearsal piano at this time,” Clagett said.
The Feb. 28 fundraiser concert will be “in the round,” with tables surrounding the new Steinway “D” in the middle of the Strings Music Pavilion. Included in the $125 formal evening is a gourmet dinner, a piano-themed silent auction and a performance from acclaimed 2013 Cliburn Crystal medalist Sean Chen.
The event is capped at 140 tickets, and as of Thursday, there were about 14 spots left. To attend the fundraiser, RSVP by Friday. For more information about the Key Concert Fundraiser event and the Strings Music Festival, visit www.stringsmusicfestival.com.
Marley Loomis, a senior at Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a spring intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.