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MostArts Festival to host the Van Cliburn Piano

'Van' Cliburn and his Steinway & Sons grand piano

'Van' Cliburn and his Steinway & Sons grand piano

Alfred University’s MostArts Festival this year will host not only the work of emerging classical musicians, but also a piece of classical music history: the personal Steinway & Sons piano of American icon Van Cliburn, one of classical music’s most revered artists.

The piano favored by Van Cliburn at his concerts is currently part of the Van Cliburn Inernational Piano Competition, taking place this month in Fort Worth, Texas. From Fort Worth, the venerable instrument will travel to Alfred in time for the opening on July 9 of the fourth annual MostArts festival.

“Having the Van Cliburn piano at Alfred University for the 2017 MostArts Festival is a very rare and special opportunity,” says Lisa Lantz, artistic director of the MostArts Festival and Young Pianist Competition. “I hope that it brings inspiration to our eight competition finalists as well as other musicians and piano lovers who attend this year’s MostArts Festival. They will have the unique opportunity to not only hear this notable instrument, but also the chance to play it. This particular instrument is a piece of American classical music history.”

The magnificent 9-foot instrument was completed in 1976 at the Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria, N.Y., and quickly became a favorite of Cliburn, accompanying him to the great stages of the world.

MostArts Festival competition judge and pianist Anthony Pattin, who will perform on the piano, had this to say in a recent interview:

“What a star in the musical crown of the MostArts Festival to have the Van Cliburn Steinway on site. Its presence at MostArts represents the high standards and achievement of the musicians and contestants involved at the festival. This piano has been used by one of the finest American pianists who ever lived. Generations of other world-class artists have used this instrument and brought inspiration to millions of music lovers around the world. I am very much looking forward to the experience of playing it.”

The Van Cliburn piano will be on display in the Miller Theater Lobby from July 9-15, and can be heard in an informal performance from 7 to 7:15 p.m. prior to the Evening Concert Series. The MostArts Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of Steinway & Sons, and especially Peter Wagner for organizing this event.