Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Piano Campaign List

The School of Music has undertaken a campaign to purchase 20 new pianos for its performance halls, teaching studios, and practice rooms. As of January 1, 2020, we are already over halfway to our goal.

Having high quality pianos at the School is crucial in attracting gifted musicians to Carnegie Mellon, and helping these young people realize their musical potentials.

While pianos in the home may last for many decades, instruments in music schools have a more limited life span due to constant use. When a piano in the School of Music reaches 15 - 20 years of age it often has reached the end of its useful life and must be replaced.

For Public Concerts

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 launched its Piano Campaign on September 26, 2016, with the dedication of new Steinway Model “D” (New York), the gift of a School of Music supporters Robert and Susan Summer, in the Kresge Theater. Subsequent gifts from Michael and Lonna Smith (Steinway Model “D”, also manufactured in New York) and James Rohr, (Steinway Model “D” made in Hamburg, Germany), give the Kresge Theater a superb stable of three excellent performance pianos, each with its own personality and sound.

Our goal is to add one more performance piano to the Kresge Theater, a Yamaha CFX, which would give the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon a collection of performance pianos second to none.

For Teaching Studios

Studio instruction is at the heart of every musician’s training, and teaching studios for piano, voice, strings, and woodwind instruction demand a certain type and size of piano. The industry standard for teaching piano majors is the Steinway Model “B” or the Yamaha CF6, grand pianos approximately seven feet in length, or the Steinway Model “O” or the Yamaha CF4, approximately six feet in length. Like the Model “D” and CFX, these instruments are completely hand crafted.

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music must soon replace six Steinway Model “B” pianos currently in use in teaching studios but past their useful life.


For Piano Majors

Students majoring in piano performance must have access to Steinway Model “B” pianos or Yamaha CF6 pianos for their daily practice. Piano majors at Carnegie Mellon have access to eight Steinway Model “B” pianos housed in dedicated practice rooms. These pianos, some of which are decades old, are in need of replacement.


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 grand 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 Yamaha AvantGrand N1 hybrid pianos.