UVic becomes the nation’s first All-Steinway School

Music student Yuki Tampo-Hinton plays a concert grand D Steinway piano—one of UVic’s 60 new Steinway-designed pianos. UVic has just been named Canada’s first All-Steinway School. PHOTO: Gary McKinstry

By Maria Lironi

Canadian jazz musician Diana Krall plays one, and so does Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang. Now, thanks to a partnership between UVic and Steinway & Sons—the first of its kind in Canada—all UVic piano students will be playing on Steinway-designed pianos. That’s because UVic is now Canada’s first All-Steinway school, which means that Steinway-designed pianos will be available in all practice rooms, studios and concert halls, and will be maintained by Steinway-trained technicians.

The first of the Steinway-designed pianos arrived in December. Kailey MacKenzie was one of the first music students to play on the Steinway concert D grand. “Playing a Steinway is magical,” says MacKenzie. “My hands are flying across the keyboard, and the touch—it’s like caressing silk.”

“It is a wonderful opportunity for our school to be the first Steinway school in Canada,” says music student Yuki Tampo-Hinton. “This new concert grand is a very powerful instrument, and it will be exciting to see how each person will react to this piano and how it molds to each performer.”

UVic is now the 99th All-Steinway School in the world, joining famous schools such as The Juilliard School; Yale School of Music; China Conservatory, School of Piano and the University of Melbourne. UVic has purchased 60 new Steinway & Sons and Steinway-designed Boston pianos from Tom Lee Music, Steinway & Sons authorized representative for BC. The pianos they replace will go to Tom Lee Music for resale.

“Our students deserve to learn and perform on the very best pianos available, and the students who use these pianos will soon become the premier Canadian artists of their generation,” says Sarah Blackstone, dean of fine arts. “In the meantime, Victoria will have the great pleasure of hearing talented artists work with superior instruments for many years to come.”

The $1.1-million acquisition is being partly funded through a financing arrangement between UVic and Tom Lee Music. However, the university is asking for the support of donors and arts patrons for additional funding.

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