Glyndebourne has taken delivery of three new Steinway & Sons grand pianos in what is one of the largest single deliveries of new Steinway grand pianos to a UK performance venue in a decade.
In November 2015, Steven Naylor, Glyndebourne’s Director of Artistic Administration and Duncan Williams, répétiteur for Glyndebourne, were accompanied by Keith Glazebrook of Steinway & Sons to complete the selection of the three pianos at the Steinway & Sons Hamburg factory. Each instrument was selected from several pianos in the selection room to ensure the characteristic of each piano was ideally suited to the specific environment and requirements for each of the three locations within Glyndebourne to house a new Steinway.
Steven Naylor said: “Good music making starts from the very first day of music and production rehearsals in the studio. Rehearsal accompanists are required to substitute for the orchestra and, as such, they have to summon an array of colours, sonority, dynamic and nuance. The superb quality of Steinway pianos enables them to create an orchestral sound world of multifarious stylistic detail, whether it be Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner or Britten – a joy to listen to for the cast and a delight to play for the hard-working accompanists.”
The largest of the trio, a Steinway & Sons Model D [Concert Grand], will be situated in the orchestra pit of the auditorium. This will be used in all main stage rehearsals and productions where a piano is needed.
The new Model B [Music Room Grand] will be placed in the Jerwood Studio – to be used in rehearsals including Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2016. The Model C will be positioned in the Peter Hall Room and will be used in the rehearsals for the likes of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Ian Julier, Senior Music Librarian at Glyndebourne, said: “The three new Steinway & Sons pianos represent an industry gold standard addition to Glyndebourne’s piano inventory. The greater tonal range and subtlety of touch from the Model D is ideal for the size and acoustic properties of the auditorium in rehearsal and performance situations, both in the pit and on stage. In the main rehearsal studios the Model C and Model B will provide the same enhanced qualities that can be specifically tailored to the whole range of repertoire we perform, as well as offering greater flexibility and scale of sound from the pit if required.”
“We are thrilled that Glyndebourne are now able to offer its pianists instruments that rival the standard available at the majority of the world’s leading performance venues,” says Keith Glazebrook of Steinway & Sons. “As a result of the generous support of Glyndebourne’s donors, these instruments can now be enjoyed by the musicians and audiences for many years to come.”
As a privately funded charity, Glyndebourne relies on the crucial support of individuals and organisations. The purchase of these three pianos has been made possible through Glyndebourne’s Annual Fund of individual donors.