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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Conservatory Welcomes New Steinway Pianos

A Steinway professional assembles one of the pianos.
Baldwin Wallace University
A Steinway professional assembles one of the pianos.

The Boesel Musical Arts Center rolled in twelve new Steinway pianos on Jan. 27. The arrival of the pianos was highly anticipated and they were welcomed to the center by an excited crowd of Baldwin Wallace Conservatory students and faculty.
When Susan Van Vorst became director of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in 2012, one of the first things on her agenda was to improve the piano inventory.
“The pianos had not been replaced for many years. Many of them are extremely old, and did not work to their full potential anymore,” Van Vorst said.
When the conservatory had the pianos professionally examined, they found many were not suitable to be playing and teaching with. Eighty-five percent of the pianos were considered to be of poor or fair condition. The pianos ranged from 40 to over 100 years old. One of the oldest pianos was 108 years old.
The conservatory is purchasing a total of 88 pianos over the next few years. After all the pianos are purchased, the conservatory will join an elite list of eleven other conservatories worldwide that are classified as “All-Steinway Schools.”
Steinway & Sons is a company that has been producing prestigious pianos since 1853. “Steinways have a special artistic quality to them. They sound fuller, and the sound that comes out is more enjoyable. When we were picking out the pianos, I was amazed by the difference and quality that came of these instruments,” Van Vorst said.
The conservatory has been able to purchase these pianos with generous donations from conservatory patrons. One donor in particular is Arline Kadel. Kadel graduated from the conservatory in 1936, and was devoted to the conservatory for the rest of her life. One of the choral rooms in the conservatory is named after the Kadel family.
After her death, Kadel donated $2.7 million to the conservatory. Some of that money was used for the initial purchase of the Steinway pianos.
The retired pianos will be traded to suppliers to get the new pianos at lower prices. Some of the pianos found in good condition were sent over to the theater and dance studios to use in their rehearsals and classes.
With the purchase of the Steinway pianos Van Vorst hopes to enhance the conservatory image. “We recruit students from all over the United States and even the world to come to study as the conservatory. With the Steinways, we are putting our best faces forward. The image of the conservatory is elevated immensely with this purchase,” Van Vorst said.
Van Vorst also hopes that acquiring high-quality pianos will make practicing more effective and enjoyable to the students. “The artistic level increases with higher quality instruments. Three of our piano majors got to play the pianos when they first got here, and they were amazed by the difference. The artistic level of the conservatory will increase and pride will increase in the conservatory.” Van Vorst explained.

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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913
Conservatory Welcomes New Steinway Pianos