UNC’s College of Performing and Visual Arts received a total of 96 new Steinway & Sons pianos as part of a $1.26 million project to replace UNC’s old piano fleet.
Many generous donors made the All-Steinway Initiative a reality, including long-time UNC supporters Bob and Bonnie Phelps.
“These new pianos from Steinway will further help inspire students to realize their artistic talents and better prepare them to compete at higher levels in the professional world, if that’s their goal.”
-Bob and Bonnie Phelps
UNC is Colorado’s first publicly funded institution of higher education to receive the designation and one of only a few in the region designated as an All-Steinway School. Fewer than 200 institutions worldwide carry the designation.
With nearly 450 music students ranging from freshmen to doctoral levels and more than 75 faculty and staff, the School of Music is actively creating and learning about music of all styles and genres. Hosting more than 200 performances each year (before the COVID-19 pandemic), in addition to countless other events throughout Greeley, the School of Music affords students a variety of opportunities to engage as artistic leaders in the community.
“What I really think is remarkable about this project is that it's highly collaborative and really touched so many facets of the university and our students and donors. It also says something about the power of these collaborations. That is to say, when you partner donors and schools within the college, what you're seeing is this ability to really change the lives of our students and faculty, and that is a worthwhile and important aspect of this gift and what this gift shows.”
-Kiki Gilderhus, Ph.D., interim dean of UNC’s PVA
School of Music Student Performances
The rich, unrivaled sound, incomparable tone and pristine touch of Steinway & Sons pianos shows UNC’s commitment to giving its students an unparalleled educational experience, inspiring students to realize their artistic talents and best prepare them to compete at the highest level in the professional world.
Yuan Li, a third-year doctoral student studying Piano Performance
Medtner's Alla Reminiscenza, Forgotten Melodies Op. 38, No. 9
Alejandro Arroyo, pursuing a master's degree in Piano Performance
Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 2 No. 3 in C major: I. Allegro con brio
Student performances recorded on site at the Campus Commons performance theatre.
Audio and video production by Andrew Warren, University Advancement
“What makes a piano, an instrument, really special is its capacity to express the variety of emotions, that variety of sounds, and allows us to express our emotions through that with relative ease and clarity. That is very difficult to obtain from any instrument, but Steinways, the way they are designed, the way they’re made, the attention to detail and the tradition that they have and the craftsmanship of their pianos, is so rich that they have really excelled in that. They are one of the best makers of instruments in the world, and that’s what makes it really special, is that ability to create and to express anything we want as musicians on the piano.”
-Adam Zukiewicz, D.M.A., associate professor of Piano at UNC
Steinway pianos take a year to make, and the final stages of building began after they arrived on campus. Once fully built, the pianos were moved to their final destinations across campus where professional piano tuners tuned them. The Steinway pianos were placed in Frasier Hall, Campus Commons and Milne Auditorium in Kepner Hall, replacing old pianos on campus that were either traded in, disposed of or refurbished depending on their condition. The pianos were then acclimated to the Colorado climate; one of the most challenging environments for pianos due to the humidity (or lack thereof). The initial tuning lasted a few weeks with the tuners returning around a month later to tune the pianos once more.
Photos by Woody Myers, University Advancement