Now, the University of Leeds will join prestigious international institutions such as New York’s Juilliard School and become the first member of the UK’s Russell Group of universities to use the instruments throughout its practice rooms and concert halls.
The university has invested more than £742,000 in 27 pianos designed by Steinway & Sons – favoured by the world’s top pianists – after gaining coveted All-Steinway School status.
Staff from the university travelled to Steinway’s factory in Hamburg in October for a factory tour and to select the new pianos. And the combination of uprights, baby grands and a concert grand have now arrived at the institution’s School of Music in time for Christmas.
The upgraded facilities will enable students across a wide range of courses in the school to practise, perform, compose and record with top quality instruments. Members of the successful Leeds University Union Music Society from across all faculties will also benefit from using the new pianos.
Dr Karen Burland, head of the School of Music, said: “We are very excited about the opportunities this investment affords the school, its students and staff. We know it will help us continue to attract world-class performers and colleagues. It will also help strengthen our place in the cultural life of the city.”
Guido Zimmermann, vice-president and managing director for Steinway & Sons Europe, added: “There are few places in the world for students to apply where the majority of the school of music’s pianos are new Steinways. It is highly befitting that the University of Leeds is now amongst the elite few, not only enabling musicians to reach their full potential, but also enriching the student experience of every student with a passion for music.
“We are honoured to be accrediting University of Leeds’ School of Music as an All-Steinway School.”