Music school rolls out ‘the Cadillacs of pianos’

Megan Rozsa

Concert to raise money for more Steinway pianos

The Kent State School of Music is campaigning to become an all-Steinway piano school. After receiving a large donation of $300,000 from Provost Paul Gaston, the school is well on its way.

Josef Knott, director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, said Kent State will soon become part of an “elite group” of all-Steinway schools.

“There are only 40 schools in the world that are classified as all-Steinway schools,” Knott said. “The first two pianos will be arriving on Feb. 25 and we’re celebrating their arrival with a concert.”

The concert, which also doubles as a charity benefit, will feature a solo recital by Jerry Wong, assistant professor of piano. He has been with the university for four years and teaches applied piano and piano literature.

“Having all Steinways will help the school distinguish itself,” Wong said. “It enhances the school’s reputation and gives it prestige.”

According to Knott, Steinways are like the Cadillacs of pianos. They cost anywhere between $26,000 and $65,000 and have been around since 1853, when they were first made in New York City.

“The most wonderful and exciting thing about getting these pianos is that the students get to be a part of it,” Wong said. “They get to refine their skills.”

Wong has been playing music since he was a child. His mother pushed him into keeping with it and later he decided it was something he wanted to pursue, he said.

On Feb. 25, he will be featuring classical piano pieces by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Liszt.

Wong hopes the concert will raise enough money to match the donation Gaston made to the School of Music. Matching the donation will buy the rest of the pianos.

“This is really a forward step for the School of Music,” Wong said. “We’re moving in a positive direction and the school is really flourishing.”

“People coming from all over are going to notice these pianos, and that’s what helps some students decide if they want to continue their education here,” Wong added.

Wong attended Indiana University and the Peabody Conservatory before heading to the Manhattan School of Music, where he graduated with a doctoral degree in Musical Arts.

The concert, which is free to Kent students with a FlashCard, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Ludwig Recital Hall in the Music and Speech Center. There is a $10 general admission charge for those outside the university community.

Contact performing arts reporter Megan Rozsa at [email protected].