For the benefit of students, music enthusiasts and the entire Fort Worth community, Texas Wesleyan University is now home to a world-renowned Steinway piano, recently featured at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
The piano was acquired through the leadership of Ilka Araújo, Ph.D., associate professor of music history and piano, the support of Jerry Bierschenk, D.M.A., chair of the Department of Music, gifts from generous donors and a commitment by the Texas Wesleyan Department of Music to raise the remaining funds.
“Academic Distinction is a key part of our 2020 Vision and I applaud our distinctive music faculty for the vision to bring this piano to Texas Wesleyan,” President Frederick G. Slabach said. “It's historical importance to Fort Worth, and remarkable quality and durability, will positively impact Texas Wesleyan students and our growing music department for years to come.”
Twenty-three out of 30 competitors at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, when asked to select which piano they would like to compete with, selected this prestigious piano because of its remarkably “clear, melodic sound,” as was reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“We strive to provide the best to our students, not just in terms of high-quality teaching and care, but also in enabling them to play on high-quality musical instruments,” Araújo says.
World-renown pianist and 2013 Van Cliburn winner Vadym Kholodenko, has agreed to give an inaugural benefit concert for the piano in Nicolas Martin Hall. Kholodenko selected this remarkable instrument for the 2017 competition. The inaugural concert date will be announced this fall.
"Acquiring this beautiful instrument is equivalent to a museum receiving a fine work of art. We are proud to have this gem adorn the stage of Martin Hall," Bierschenk, said.
This instrument, designated CD-595 (Model D, ebony polyester polish finish) comes from the esteemed Steinway Hall Concert & Artist bank in New York. It has been specially maintained, regulated and voiced for concert performance in Manhattan venues. It is the pinnacle of concert grands – the overwhelming choice of the world’s greatest pianists.
During the 2017 Van Cliburn Piano Competition, 23 of 30 competitors selected this instrument from the three available concert grands. By the semifinal round, all remaining competitors were using this remarkable piano. It received praise from listeners, journalists and piano experts throughout the competition.
Steinway artist Mitsuko Uchida says, “once you start playing on a Steinway Model D, then you play differently. They are a different animal. And that is a privilege to have.”
For more information about Texas Wesleyan’s Music Department, contact 817-531-4992.