Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Piano Campaign List

The School of Music is launching a Piano Campaign to raise $1,600,000 for the purchase of 20 new pianos.

Having an inventory of high quality, well-maintained pianos is crucial in attracting gifted musicians to Carnegie Mellon and in fulfilling our mission to train a new generation of musical artists.  

While pianos in the home may last for many decades, instruments in music schools have a more limited life span due to constant use.  At approximately 15 - 20 years, pianos in music schools have reached the end of their useful life span and must be replaced.

For Public Concerts

The School of Music hosts hundreds of performances each year, ranging from student recitals to concerts by distinguished internationally known artists. These public performances require the very best concert grand pianos.

Concert grand pianos are nine feet in length, hand crafted, and take over a year to produce. These are the ultimate pianos, with the power and projection to be heard easily in a large concert hall but also capable of sublime subtlety.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music will kick-off its Piano Campaign with the dedication of new Steinway Model “D”, the gift of a School of Music supporters Robert  and Susan Summer, at the Chamber Music Series on Monday, September 26, 2016, in the Kresge Theater. 

The School of Music is seeking funding for a second concert grand to be housed in Kresge Theater to make possible the performance of repertoire for two pianos, and for use in teaching.

For Teaching Studios

Studio instruction is at the heart of every musician’s training, and teaching studios for piano, voice, string, and woodwind instruction demands that a certa”in type, size and quality of piano be present. The industry standard for pianos used in teaching is the Steinway Model “B”, a grand piano approximately seven feet in length, or the Steinway Model “O”, approximately six feet in length. Like the Model “D”, these are completely hand crafted.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music is planning to replace six Steinway Model “B” pianos currently in use in teaching studios but past their useful life with new Steinway Model “B” or Model “O” pianos.

For Piano Majors

Students majoring in piano performance must have access to Steinway Model “B” pianos or a very close equivalent forpractice purposes. For piano majors at Carnegie Mellon, we own and maintain eight Steinway Model “B” pianos in dedicated practice rooms.

In order to attract talented young pianists to Carnegie Mellon, high quality practice pianos are an absolute necessity. Not having this quality of piano would place us at a severe competitive disadvantage where other schools are concerned. Four of our current piano major practice instruments are in need of replacement, and we plan to purchase new Steinway Model “B” instruments to place in these rooms.

For Practice Rooms

Apart from practice instruments for piano performance majors, the Carnegie Mellon School of Music maintains 30 pianos for students majoring in other instruments. All music majors are required to take at least two years of private piano lessons, and therefore it is essential for each practice rooms to have a piano available. Over the past few years we have been replacing older acoustic upright pianos with new hybrid pianos, AvantGrand N1, manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation. These hybrid pianos have traditional piano keyboards and action, but instead of a hammer striking a string, the keystroke activates optics and electronics. The result is that the AvantGrand N1 does not fall out of tune, and does not require the level of maintenance that traditional acoustic pianos do. They also have more functionality than traditional pianos, with capabilities such as recording, playback, computer connectivity, and the ability to practice with headphones. 

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music is intending to purchase 10 additional AvantGrand N1 hybrid pianos.