Steinway & Sons, which crafts approximately 2,500 pianos a year in the United States and Germany and is the choice of 97% of piano soloists performing at major venues, shipped five grand pianos and two upright pianos by truck from Baltimore to Hollins’ Presser Hall, home of the university’s music department. The instruments were delivered on July 2.
Professor of Music and Department Chair Judith Cline said Hollins has joined George Mason University, James Madison University, Radford University, and Episcopal High School in Alexandria as Virginia’s only “All-Steinway Schools.” Worldwide, just over 150 conservatories, colleges and universities, and other schools of distinction have earned this designation.
“At least 90 percent of an institution’s instruments must be Steinway & Sons, Boston, or Essex pianos and must be in good condition to qualify for ‘All-Steinway School’ recognition,” Cline explained. “The use of a certified Steinway piano technician for tuning the instruments is also required.”
Recently renovated Presser Hall will provide the pianos with a climate-controlled environment. “These are brand-new pianos that need time to adjust to humidity and other factors,” Cline noted. “It’s similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. Our technician, Andy Lyford, will be able to give attention to all our instruments in the coming months and have them ready for the start of the new academic year.”
Hollins will officially mark its “All-Steinway School” designation during the university’s annual Founder’s Day event on February 20, 2014. Highlighting the celebration will be a recital by Alexander Schimpf, who has performed at important music centers throughout the world and in 2011 became the first German pianist to win the Cleveland International Piano Competition.