Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

Introducing the Piano Excellence Fund 

Introducing the Piano Excellence Fund 

Left to right: Faculty artist Boris Slutsky, PIAB Chair Taylor Hannex, Marc von May, and Dean Fred Bronstein toured the Steinway and Sons piano factory in August 2017.

This year Peabody has established the Piano Excellence Fund to provide new, quality pianos across campus, including Steinway pianos for the concert halls and for use in practice rooms and piano studios. The fund is a new philanthropic focus, created to support the needed replacement of more than 65 pianos and the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of nearly 200 pianos on stages and in classrooms and practice rooms across Peabody.

Peabody Institute Advisory Board Chair Taylor Hanex (BM ’75, MM ’78, Piano) and Marc von May made an initial gift in June to fund the purchase of a new Steinway.

Fellow PIAB member Barbara Bozzuto, who is also a piano student of Peabody alumnus and former faculty member Arno Drucker, hosted a party at her home in Baltimore on June 11 to kick off the Piano Excellence Fund campaign. Faculty artist Benjamin Pasternack performed for this intimate gathering, dazzling the audience with pieces by Frédéric Chopin, who was well known for performing in salon-like settings. Bozzuto and Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein joined Pasternack and spoke passionately about the importance of providing high-quality instruments for training the next generation of leaders in the field.

The Piano Department at Peabody, one of the Conservatory’s largest, has a long tradition of excellence dating back to the days of Arthur Friedheim, a student of Franz Liszt, and continuing to today’s faculty of world-renowned artists — including the eminent Leon Fleisher, who can trace his pedagogical lineage back to Beethoven.

Both Conservatory and Preparatory constituents will benefit from this critical investment.

A gift of any size to the Piano Excellence Fund is greatly appreciated — and if you wish to fund a specific piano or name one for yourself, your family, or in honor of a beloved friend, family, or faculty member, please contact the Office of External Relations at 667-208-6551.

— Leslie Procter