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​Steinway Campaign Update

​Steinway Campaign Update

In our 10th Anniversary year, we are fundraising to purchase a new Steinway Model C grand piano for the Primrose Potter Salon.

Measuring 227cm long and weighing 400kg, the Steinway Model C is a rare instrument in the Steinway’s range. Second only in size to the Model D concert grand, two of which are used in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, the Model C is sometimes referred to as a “parlour grand” as it is specifically designed for smaller recital spaces, such as the Primrose Potter Salon.  It possesses all the power and richness of its larger stablemate, but the Model C is considered by many pianists to be the ideal instrument for performances of the more intimate Romantic repertoire, like the works of Chopin, Schumann, and Mendelssohn.

This new instrument will enhance the musical possibilities of the Primrose Potter Salon.  It will:

  • Allow the presentation of works from the extensive two-piano repertoire on matching instruments
  • Provide artists with a choice of Steinway pianos for recitals in the Primrose Potter Salon, just as they are in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Allow for two matching Steinways to be made available for master classes so that both student and teacher can work on matching instruments
  • Provide a Steinway piano for use in the Primrose Potter Salon that is fewer than 10 years old.  While the current instrument has been maintained to an extremely high standard, pianos do begin to deteriorate from elite level concert conditions after approximately a decade of heavy use. The new instrument will help ensure that the high reputation of the Melbourne Recital Centre is maintained among local and international artists and audiences
  • Allow the Centre to offer the older Model C instrument to schools and student groups, while ensuring that the new instrument is reserved only for professional artists

You Can Play a Part

Our fundraising campaign for a new Steinway C forms the centrepiece of our 10th anniversary piano renewal project, which has already seen the first of our Steinway Model D instruments replaced earlier this year with a brand new piano, fresh from the factory in Hamburg.

In order to allow us to purchase the new Model C, the Centre is seeking to raise $250,000 in tax-deductible donations.

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Gandel Philanthropy, until 31 May 2019 every gift we receive towards this project will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

As of 8 May 2019, we have $14,000 to go to reach our matching target!

Every gift helps us closer to our target, and donors who contribute $500 or more become part of our Steinway Giving Circle. This group of committed piano lovers enjoys a close relationship with the Centre’s fleet of Steinway instruments, and will be invited to a special event to celebrate the arrival of the new Steinway C in 2020.

To find out more or make a gift, please visit our Steinway Giving Circle page here.

Pianos at Melbourne Recital Centre

Since the Centre opened in 2009, Melbourne Recital Centre’s Steinways have been in the expert care of master technician, Ulrich Gerhartz, Steinway’s Director of Concert and Artist Services. Considered a maestro of the piano technician world, Gerhartz is based in the United Kingdom but travels extensively for Steinway, who have an unchallenged reputation in concert grand pianos.

In an interview with The Guardian, Gerhartz explained why grand pianos, unlike violins have such a brief lifespan. 'To project sound well, with a nice musical tone, you need the pianos to be young,' says Gerhartz.  '(For example), at Bridgewater Hall, in Manchester, the youngest is one-year-old, while the oldest is 12. Now confined to an orchestral role, the latter will soon be put out to grass. It's like a high-performance athlete who eats the right thing, trains every day, is totally focused on performing,' says Gerhartz. 'As soon as their training regime goes and they have a normal life, they change.' They get fat? 'I didn't want to put it like that.' 

As with the Model D concert grands used in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, the Model C grand piano used in the Primrose Potter Salon was specially selected for the Centre by the internationally renowned Australian pianists Piers Lane and Stephen McIntyre.

You can hear Piers Lane in recital here in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on Tuesday 14 of May at 6.30pm. Click here for more information.

Piers will also be performing in support of the Ballarat Art Foundation on Friday 31 May at the Parish Hall, Clunes with a special ‘Chopin & Champers by Candlelight’ experience as part of the Plate Up Festival. Click here for more information.

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