Miami University acquires new Steinway pianos

Department of Music piano faculty with students displaying a banner as Miami journeys to become an All Steinway School.
Department of Music piano faculty with students displaying a banner as Miami journeys to become an All Steinway School. Photo: Jeff Sabo, Miami University Communications and Marketing

Miami University recently purchased a number of Steinway & Sons pianos for the Department of Music as part of an ongoing initiative to reach their goal of becoming an All Steinway School, a distinction shared by the finest music schools and conservatories in the world.

These handcrafted instruments will serve to renew and replace a majority of the Department of Music's aging stock of 80 pianos, which serve on a daily basis in Miami's concert halls, teaching studios and rehearsal rooms. According to Steinway, over 98% of all pianists performing with orchestras last year chose their pianos exclusively. With the All Steinway School designation, Miami University students and faculty will have the opportunity to perform and practice on the instruments they will encounter most frequently on the concert stage.

Miami offers professional degree programs in music that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and recognized for their strength by the Fiske Guide. "The Department of Music endeavors to provide students with the best possible resources, and so becoming an All Steinway School is important to the educational mission," said Elizabeth Mullenix, Dean of the College of Creative Arts. “We are extraordinarily excited about becoming an All Steinway School. This is both a mark of distinction, a high achievement and a profound signal of Miami University’s commitment to quality, its students, faculty and community,” said Mullenix.

Willis Music Company, greater Cincinnati's only authorized Steinway representative, is working with the Department of Music toward their goal of reaching the prestigious All Steinway School designation.

Chris Tanner, Interim Chair of the Department of Music said, “Miami University is pleased to be closing in on its quest to become an All Steinway School. Over the last few years, we have acquired a number of new Steinway pianos, including a beautiful concert grand for our recital hall. A final purchase of 31 high quality Steinway/Boston upright pianos is all that remains for us to achieve this important designation," he said.

"I was very fortunate to have received my great grandmother's Steinway piano from the 1930's, so I am definitely a fan of Steinway," said Cloie Dobias, a junior piano performance major. "Since the strings aren't as taut as some of the other brands, a wide range of tones and colors can be created that help pianists convey emotions. This is my favorite feature of the piano since expression is such a critical aspect of music performance," she said.

Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value. Handcrafting each Steinway piano can take up to one full year. The Steinway brand remains the nearly unanimous choice of concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world. 

The Willis Music Company is a family owned and operated business that has been serving the tri-state area since 1899 with area store locations at Kenwood, Eastgate, West Chester, Florence and Lexington. The business is also known worldwide for their publishing of educational piano music.