$250K Steinway grand piano the newest member of Windsor Symphony Orchestra
$250K purchase possible thanks to Weingarden family
The colourful notes of a "Lamborghini" echoed through the Capitol Theatre for the first time Tuesday.
But rather than a snorting supercar, it was a Steinway concert grand piano that took centre stage, thanks to a donation from the late Joyce Weingarden.
It was WSO Music Director Robert Franz who first compared the $250,000 instrument to a flashy Italian automobile.
"In a sports car like a Lamborghini you can go slowly if you wish, but you can also go fast immediately," he explained. "This piano has great depth, great breadth of sounds … it's really an instrument you can do anything you wish."
The handcrafted piano was selected by Franz and other WSO staff during a visit to the famous Steinway & Sons shop in New York.
Piano soloist Spencer Myer tried out six different Steinways, but the search ended as soon as he sat down at the third option.
"Everything stopped and I just listened," said Franz. "I could tell Spencer was falling in love and I was falling madly in love too."
The purchase was only possible due to a financial gift from the family of Weingarden after dozens of cousins and their children agreed to support her dream of providing the piano to the orchestra.
"I feel like I've really done something worthwhile," said Arthur Weingarden, who reached out to 46 separate family members about the possibility of buying the instrument.
"(Joyce) was a quiet person, but she'd have a big smile on her face, no question," he said after the delicate first notes from her legacy rolled out of the audience Tuesday.
The Steinway will make its debut performance on Nov. 18.
The first notes of the <a href="https://twitter.com/WindsorSymphony?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WindsorSymphony</a>'s new Steinway Concert Grand Piano, donated by Joyce Weingarden's family. <a href="https://t.co/1rQU9qwNqf">pic.twitter.com/1rQU9qwNqf</a>—@ChrisEnsingCBC
Franz said the instrument will provide a worthy playing experience for internationally renowned musicians when they come to Windsor.
"When you play and work with an instrument like this that is so special and has so many different colours and sounds that can come out of it really inspires the orchestra … to achieve all new heights," he said. "Everything is right there, right at your fingertips and you have complete control."