By Dean Gallea –
On Tuesday, February 13, the Tarrytown Music Hall unveiled its new Steinway Model D Concert Grand piano, at a “Piano-Warming” party for member-donors, Board members, staff and dignitaries. Music Hall Board Treasurer Kent Sheng purchased the piano from Steinway Hall in New York and donated it to the Music Hall. He had auditioned a number of the large, 9-foot-long flagship Steinway “Ds” in the showroom’s special auditorium, and chose one manufactured in 2004 that had seen performances by a number of prominent artists, including Arturo Sandoval. The new piano replaces the Music Hall’s previous smaller Steinway Model B, which was sorely in need of rebuilding and will find a home elsewhere; many performing pianists would choose to provide their own piano, rather than use the Hall’s.
Guests at the unveiling included NY State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins who spoke briefly at the pre-concert reception and had been instrumental in obtaining the grant for several of the Music Hall’s infrastructure improvements. Also there were Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell, Village Administrator Rich Slingerland, other community leaders, and a representative of the Steinway Co, Regina Davidoff. Music Hall Director Bjorn Olsson introduced Board President Robert Clarfeld, who praised Mr. Sheng for his generous gift and his service on the Board and presented him with a framed painting of the Music Hall by a local artist. Mr. Clarfeld noted that the gift would delight concert-goers for generations to come.
The piano was unveiled on stage and a concert given by multi-genre pianist Joel Martin who has performed a number of times at the Music Hall over a 25-year period. He played music ranging from Brahms to the Beatles, including some of his own upbeat arrangements of classics. The audence gave Mr. Martin a standing ovation. His encore number, “The Impossible Dream”, accompanied a stirring vocal by Mr. Olsson, who had previously performed opera.
The event continued with the guests invited around the piano on stage for a champagne toast and desserts. An impromptu performance of Rachmaninoff and Ravel by Ms. Davidoff delighted everyone, including Mr. Martin. Finally, Mr. Olsson uncovered a plaque fastened inside the piano’s case naming the piano the “Sheng Steinway”.