When you think of high-quality pianos, the name Steinway comes to mind. Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty, and investment value. “The Steinway is one of the premiere piano companies in the world,” says music professor Milton Schlosser. “A 9-foot Steinway is inspiring. It’s important for students to get that feel.”
In 2008, fundraising efforts began to purchase a new 9-foot Steinway piano, and while fundraising will continue in 2009, the piano has already been purchased.
Schlosser, accompanied by Bonita Anderson, Director of Development, traveled to New York to visit the Steinway manufacturing plant and choose a piano. Assisting them in New York was Joel Harder, an Augustana alumnus who is currently studying at the Julliard.
Schlosser and Harder spent the day playing various pianos to help them choose which one would best suit the campus. “They have technicians who can tell you the strengths of each instrument and what type of piano would suit what space better. We were helped by a technician who looks after the pianos at Carnegie Hall,” says Schlosser.
The piano is shipped in a special container by truck to a dealer in Edmonton. It will remain there for the summer until it has acclimatized. It is expected to arrive on campus for the upcoming school year, where it will be featured in upcoming concerts to help fundraising efforts.
While the piano will be primarily used for concerts by faculty and students, it will also function as a teaching instrument, “Your creativity is limited by the quality of the instrument,” says Schlosser. “With the 9-foot Steinway, undergraduate students will get to experience a top-quality instrument.”
Plans are underway for 5 major concerts. Harder and Schlosser will perform in the inaugural recitals, as well as Angela Cheng, one of Canada’s premiere piano players, and other performers.