UPEI’s New Steinway Piano

Last night I played on a UPEI Department of Music Faculty Recital to welcome the new Steinway Concert Grand Piano at Steel Recital Hall. Although this was the official launch of PEI’s “newest and finest concert Grand Piano”, it has been in use since its arrival in August 2006. In fact, my sister Jacqueline Sorensen gave the inaugural public performance on August 13 with my contemporary music ensemble eklektikos. It’s kind of fun to think that we made history that night! The new piano replaces an older Steinway, built in 1888, and which is still being used by Dr. Fran Gray in her teaching studio. One can only imagine the musical history of that instrument – the performers who have caressed its keys, the repertoire that it has realized, the sounds that have soared from its strings. What rich history awaits the new instrument as it embarks on its voyage – a musical journey that will end long after those of us who nurture it through its youth are gone? Last night’s program gave a hint of what’s to come: a variety of music ranging from Bach’s Partita No. 6 for keyboard, to an arrangement of Piazzolla’s Meditango for trombone, bass trombone, tuba and piano. Here’s to a new century of music making on PEI!

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5 Responses to UPEI’s New Steinway Piano

  1. This piano was made possible, in part, by a bequest from the Mary-Claire Carlson, sister of Catherine Hennessey.

    Mary-Claire was one of the nicest people I’ve come across in this life, and it’s nice to know that her generosity will, literally, ring out for many years.

  2. I never met Mary Claire, but such acts of generosity are truly heart-warming. She must have been a wonderful person.

    There is opportunity for others to contribute as well:

    The total cost of this new instrument is $110,000. In an act of good faith, UPEI purchased the piano before the total amount was raised. We have secured over $80,000 and invite everyone with a love of music to confirm our faith by making a tax deductible gift or pledge to the UPEI Grand Piano Fund. [from the printed program, Feb. 3, 2007]

    Interested parties may contact the UPEI Department of Music.

  3. Andrea says:

    That’s really exciting about the new Steinway.

    Your story reminded me of an article in the New Yorker a few years ago, in a special music issue, about a woman who works at Steinway as a piano seller. Except, she’s more than a salesperson, more like a piano dowser or Steinway priestess, in the way she would get the buyer to feel their way around the instruments, trying out a variety and exploring the subtle differences of each, and about her almost religious devotion to help people find the perfect piano. It was an incredible story. I saved the issue, so will copy and send it to you – or, if you have access to the DVD complete set of the New Yorker, you can find it there.

  4. Thanks, Andrea. I found the New Yorker article here. It is a great story. I also found this article, Brand Yourself as an Expert (on Inc.com: The Daily Resource for Entrepeneurs), which gives more of a business perspective on what makes the “Erica Feidner brand” so successful. I wonder if there is a similar individual out there selling trombones!

  5. Erica Feidner says:

    Hello, there!

    It’s Erica Feidner. My Google alert brought me to look into who had written such nice tings about me!!!!

    I resigned from Steinway and Sons in October of 2005 and now consult/matchmake virtually any (high-end) piano to persons on aa national level. (I am also a Bosendorfer dealer.) My website will undergo dramatic changes in the next week, but in the meantime, feel free to peek at it at http://www.pianomatchmaker.com. Best,
    Erica vanderLinde Feidner

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