Perform on Historic Pianos
students from Interlochen Arts Academy, a fine arts boarding high
school in Michigan, recently received a unique opportunity to
perform on a collection of historical pianos that are part of
a Smithsonian Institution exhibition celebrating the piano’s 300th
Interlochen students were invited to perform on the instruments
as part of the educational outreach program of the Smithsonian’s
National Museum of American History. “Piano 300: Celebrating Three
Centuries of People and Pianos” commemorates the invention of
this universally beloved instrument.
are especially pleased that our collections can benefit these
splendid young musicians, who have worked hard to master these
instruments, transforming their own music making in the process,”
said Jim Weaver, music curator at the National Museum of American
Among the instruments played was the 1903 White House Steinway.
The instrument, used from the time of Teddy Roosevelt through
subsequent administrations until 1939, “changed the direction
of White House concerts, bringing a steady stream of major pianists,”
Students also performed on a 1745 Antwerp French harpsichord,
a Baldwin owned by Liberace (customized with 125 pounds of Austrian
rhinestones for Liberace’s Radio City Music Hall appearances),
a piano commissioned to represent American industrial progress
in the American pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and
a Steinway that once stood in Duke Ellington’s New York apartment.
a virtual tour of Piano 300, visit www.piano300.org.
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