Each Steinway & Sons piano is handcrafted, one at a time, taking almost a full year to complete. Many of their artisans who handcraft today’s pianos are second- and third-generation Steinway craftspeople, carrying forth a Steinway family tradition.
It is easy to find a piano that costs less than a Steinway, but near impossible to find a piano that will offer more heritage, better quality of tone, and a greater return on investment. For more than 165 years, authentic Steinway pianos have had an unrivaled record within the piano world for maintaining their value.
An overwhelming number of concert pianists prefer the Steinway sound more than any other piano brand. From the warmth of tone to its vast dynamic range, each Steinway offers unique, handcrafted qualities unsurpassed in the industry.
A Steinway & Sons grand piano that is properly maintained can easily last 75 to 100 years or more. In fact, the choir room grand piano at Trinity is a Steinway that just turned 121 years old! Though the years have left their mark on the instrument, the underlying quality of tone is still present and is unmistakable. Many hundreds of people have benefited from that instrument throughout its life, and the same will undoubtedly be said in a century about this new Steinway Model D.
Though this instrument was completed in 2013, it is considered new by Steinway & Sons and as such, comes with their full manufacturer’s warranty. The reason that this piano is considered new is that it has never been owned by anyone not affiliated with Steinway. For the past 7 years, this instrument has served as the “concert & artist” piano for Artist Pianos in East Syracuse. This instrument has been used by organizations throughout Central and Northern New York including the Skaneateles Festival, the Cape Vincent International Piano Competition, and the Trinity Concert Series. Several Steinway Artists (pianists who, by arrangement, perform only on Steinway pianos) have performed on this instrument. The instrument is very much in like-new condition except that it has been “broken in” by many great performers – a process that every instrument must go through.
This instrument is different than any other piano in the greater Watertown area because no other “concert grand piano” exists here. While there are concert-level instruments around that are smaller than typical concert grand pianos, they are not actually concert grand pianos. Standard concert grand pianos are around 9 feet long. The reason this term is designated to pianos of this size is because in a concert setting, particularly where a piano is used with many other instruments, an organ, or a symphony orchestra, it needs to be this size in order to produce the volume needed to balance properly. Though this instrument is capable of producing great volume, it is also able to produce an incredibly pure, soft tone. The 9-foot length of the piano means that there is a larger sound board to help the sound resonate. The next closest concert grand pianos are in Syracuse and Potsdam, and though there are many Steinway pianos in the greater Watertown area, no other Steinway in the area is a 9-foot concert model.
For several years, Trinity’s music ministry has been looking into the possibility of purchasing a concert grand piano – to enrich our worship, concert series, and community. Artist Pianos approached us in February 2020 about this instrument, and we received a formal quote in March just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The piano committee and vestry decided to move forward with the purchase of this instrument after many months of discussion, exploration, and prayer. Given the fundraising plans to be undertaken by the piano committee, it was felt that this was the right time for this purchase for many reasons.
- The community. Whether it is a concert series performance, weekday recital, worship service, or a student performing their first studio recital, the music ministry intends for this instrument to benefit the entire greater Watertown community. With Watertown Musicales recently voting to dissolve, there is an even greater need within our community for a piano to perform on or with. The intent is for this instrument to be for everyone, not just Trinity parish. Many other local organizations are supporting this project, and the excitement from the community is striking.
- The price. A discount of nearly $73,000 was offered to Trinity for this piano. All who were involved in the process of looking into this instrument realized that a discount of this size would not be available again in the foreseeable future.
- The need. In 2006, the 1924 Knabe grand piano from Trinity House was moved into the church for the newly-formed Trinity Concert Series. Many problems existed with that instrument then and have only gotten worse since. Now that the instrument is 97 years old, the problems include inability to maintain A440 pitch, lack of tuning stability for an entire performance, broken and twice repaired pedal lyre that continues to swing with braces that will not stay in place, worn out pin block, and cracked finish with other water damage. The soundboard (that the strings vibrate against to amplify sound) is showing fatigue and beginning to crack.
- The future. For several seasons, the Trinity Concert Series has needed to rent a concert grand piano for performances. We estimate that continuing to do so for the next 10 seasons would cost between $60,000 to $70,000. That expense would continue to be budgeted each season – something that the series cannot continue to financially afford.
Thanks to the generosity of more than 100 donors from throughout the parish and wider community, we have raised more than 45% of the total amount needed (as of 7/13/21).