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RWCMD: The first Steinway Exclusive Conservatoire in the World

11 September 2020

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The Carne foyer was well and truly woken up from its lockdown silence on Wednesday when 24 brand new Steinway pianos played gloriously together, celebrating the College becoming the world’s very first Steinway Exclusive Conservatoire.

Students from the College and our Junior Conservatoire joined staff and graduates to perform 24 Pianos, specially written by composer, postgraduate student and conductor Julia Plaut.

Julia conducting her world premiere of ’24 Pianos’

Becoming a Steinway Exclusive Conservatoire means the College now has a world-leading fleet of pianos, and that every acoustic piano at the College is a Steinway.

All music students will now have access to a Steinway when they practice, when they are examined, and when they perform.

Why are Steinway pianos so special? 

‘It’s superb that all students at the RWCMD can rehearse and perform on such wonderful instruments,’ said Julia Plaut.  ‘It’s like giving them an open road to accelerate as musicians.

Visiting piano consultant Charles Owen agrees. He accompanied Principal Helena Gaunt and Director of Music Tim Rhys-Evans to choose the pianos at Steinway Hall in London.

This new delivery includes seven Steinway grand pianos, including a Steinway model D to join its fellow concert grand in the Dora Stoutzker Hall, and four Steinway AS grands.

The College is also the first to introduce Steinway’s groundbreaking Spirio technology, with the introduction of two Spirio grand pianos.

This innovation ‘offers endless possibilities for enhanced learning and musical experience,’ said Simon Phillippo Head of Keyboard Performance, ‘with the potential for remote masterclasses, performances and auditions, as new outreach opportunities and networks, not just in Wales, but across the world.’

In Pictures: The day the College became Europe’s first Steinway Exclusive Conservatoire

Carefully unloading the new concert grand Model D

Steinway’s expert Piano Logistics team made sure the new Steinways were safely delivered and placed in the right place for social distancing

The new Model D concert grand is unveiled before going to its new home in the Dora Stouzker Hall

Head of Postgraduate Programmes Zoe Smith is the first to play on the new Steinways. Steinway has been setting the world standard for piano quality for 165 years.

More than 98% of the world’s active concert pianists – over 1,500 artists – are ‘Steinway Artists’. Each owns their own Steinway and chooses to play on a Steinway exclusively.

24 pianists coming together from across the College. Collaboration is a key part of the keyboard department’s teaching

The 24 Steinways will be placed in rehearsal rooms and performance spaces around the College, including the Dora Stoutzker Hall

We’ll be showcasing and celebrating some of the many opportunities of being a Steinway Exclusive Conservatoire at our Grand Weekend, 23-25th October. Details coming soon!

The Grand Weekend is supported by the Mosawi Foundation.

You can read the full Press Release in our Press & Media Centre

To find out more about studying piano or music at the College go to our department pages on the website.

Photos: Kiran Ridley, Kirsten McTernan