University Now An All-Steinway School

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Radford University has been recognized by a world-renowned piano maker as an All-Steinway school and will celebrate the designation at a program on campus Sept. 15.

“There are only 130 or so prestigious music institutions in the world that have achieved this status,” said Joseph Scartelli, dean of the university’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Among other institutions holding the distinction are the Yale School of Music and the Julliard School. In Virginia, George Mason and James Madison are also All-Steinway universities.

For a school to achieve the designation, at least 90 percent of its pianos must be Steinways. Radford’s Department of Music now owns 37 Steinway & Sons pianos, with 16 of those being grand pianos.

Scartelli said the department upgraded its instruments over several years, a process made possible in part by the donation of instruments by university friends Edward and Nancy Rice. The rest were purchased as funds became available. In all, more than 40 pianos were replaced.

“It is a significant commitment to quality that reflects a like commitment to what we provide to our students and the audiences that listen to these instruments at our performances,” Scartelli said. “Every performance on one of these instruments is now a ‘Steinway event.’”

Professor Allen F. Wojtera, chair of the Department of Music, said, “All performance spaces and rehearsal rooms for instrumental and choral ensembles have grand pianos. Most student practice rooms now have Steinway upright pianos in them.”

Founded in New York in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway, Steinway & Sons is reputed to be one of the world’s finest makers of pianos. Today the company’s New York factory produces six models of grand pianos and three models of uprights. Steinway also has manufacturing facilities in Germany and offers two less costly brands, Boston and Essex, made in Asia.

The All-Steinway School Award program will be held Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts on the Radford campus.

Sep 12, 2011
Keith Hagarty