Monday, November 19, 2001

Pianos provide a thrill

Horowitz instrument among 4 on tour

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER — No matter your skill level — from chopsticks to Chopin — you can play a legendary piano.

        The Steinway of the late pianist Vladimir Horowitz — the same one he took with him from London to Tokyo — sits waiting to be played at the recently opened Premier Pianos, a Steinway Piano franchise here.

        The Horowitz piano, built in the 1940s, accompanied him on his historic 1989 tour of Russia. It's the instrument used for his last album Horowitz: the Last Recording, and is one of four on the Steinway & Sons Legendary Piano Tour.

  The Legendary Piano Tour also is bringing in some of the area's finest pianists:
  • Shawn Daly and Joed Galyon, who will perform classical selections from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 30, received recognition at the 2001 Ellis Competition for Duo-Pianists and the Graves Duo Piano Competition. They also have been featured at the American Music Festival at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.. and at the Nyra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago.
  • Michael Chertok, pianist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, will perform “Rhapsody In Blue” on the Gershwin memorial “Rhapsody” piano at 7 p.m. Dec. 7. The recitals are free.
        “These pianos have gone all over the world. They have been on tour since the (early) 1990s. Now, they're here through Dec. 9,” said Jeff Deaton, piano specialist at the new store in the Brands Insurance Agency building. It is just east of the Interstate 75 Allen Road overpass.

        “Anyone can come in and play a legend during that time. I had a teacher with a class come all the way from Evansville, Ind.,” Mr. Deaton said.

        The Horowitz piano is joined by a Steinway grand played extensively by Van Cliburn. Mr. Cliburn was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in April at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

        Also displayed is the 500,000th piano built in 1988 by Steinway — 135 years since the company was founded in Queens, N.Y. The piano features hand engraved signatures of more than 800 of the world's finest pianists.

        The fourth piano, and the only one on the tour for sale — at $150,000 — is a brilliant blue “Rhapsody” model marking the 100th anniversary of composer George Gershwin's birth. Only 24 are being built.

        The piano tour arrived in West Chester shortly after the Sept. 1 opening of Premier Pianos, said Greg Kottmann, general manager.


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