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School of Creative and Performing Arts debuts new Bechstein piano

The University of Calgary’s newly formed School of Creative and Performing Arts will showcase a new C-Bechstein concert grand piano Saturday at a performance by Russian pianist and 2012 Honens Laureate Pavel Kolesnikov.

“C-Bechstein pianos are among the finest instruments available,” says Allan Bell, director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

“It means a great deal to us to have this piano. We now have three extraordinary instruments that will enhance the development of high artistry and open up new possibilities for musicians, faculty and students. For community members, it means they will be able to attend the finest concerts at the Rozsa Centre.”

The premiere concert will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in the University of Calgary’s Rozsa Centre.

Michael Lipnicki, who sold the piano to the university, says, “You want enough power that the piano will play through the orchestra, and yet when it’s played with voice or chamber ensembles, it has to be able to not overpower. It’s a very tricky thing for a concert grand to meet both of these requirements — and Bechstein has succeeded very well with this model. It has the ideal combination of power and colour.”

German-based Bechstein is the largest manufacturer of pianos in Europe. There are only three C-Bechstein pianos in Calgary, Lipnicki says. “We are very much looking forward to hearing the special character of this instrument,” says Bell.

The University of Calgary already owns two concert pianos: a Steinway from North America and a Yamaha from Japan. “We’re not trying to make the claim that Bechstein is better. These pianos are different in subtle ways, and it depends on the repertoire you play,” say Music Chair William Jordan. “By having a third piano from Europe, we are able to provide a high level of choice to all the musicians we bring in.”

The debut concert of the new C-Bechstein will also be the first concert of the 2013-14 season for the U of C’s newly formed School of Creative and Performing Arts.

Pavel Kolesnikov, who performed at a Calgary flood relief concert in July, will play pieces such as Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Claude Debussy’s Images Book 1 and works by Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Concert details:

Pavel Kolesnikov — 2012 Honens Prize Laureate

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21

Eckhardt-Grammaté Hall in the Rozsa Centre.

Single tickets: Adults $25, students/seniors (60+) $18

Tickets are available through the Campus Ticket Centre at 403.220.7202 or at the door.

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