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College to Host Musical Celebration of New Steinway Piano

February 21, 2014

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Middlebury's Mahaney Center for the Arts will host a festive celebration and dedication of its new Steinway concert grand piano on Saturday, March 1. All events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for the evening concert, and may be reserved through the Middlebury College Box Office.

The new Steinway concert grand was a gift of the Meredith, Ray, and Nathaniel ’12.5 Rothrock family in honor of President Ron Liebowitz and his wife Jessica. It will reside in the concert hall for use by students, faculty, and the world-renowned pianists who appear as part of the college’s Performing Arts Series.

Events will begin with a guest lecture by Joseph Polisi, president of the Juilliard School, titled "The Arts, Education, and the Human Experience" at 4:30 p.m. in the Mahaney Center for the Arts concert hall. Polisi, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Middlebury in 2010, is the author of The Artist as Citizen and The Life and Times of William Schuman.

Video: New piano arrives and is installed at Middlebury's Mahaney Center for the Arts concert hall.

The evening concert will begin at 8 p.m. in the Mahaney Center concert hall, featuring performances and discussion from several members of the Middlebury community, including students, faculty, and alumni. The evening event will open with a short film telling the story of how the new piano was selected at the historic Steinway factory in Queens, New York.

Musical performances will include an eclectic mix of styles showcasing the piano's versatility. Cameron Toh '17, Shannia Fu '17, and David Heschel Liebowitz, all students of Middlebury Affiliated Artist Diana Fanning '71, will perform solo works by Barber, Debussy, and Satie. Gwendolyn Toth '77 will perform early keyboard music by Beethoven. Felix Klos '14 and Affiliated Artist Dick Forman, who directs jazz programs, will play jazz selections. Rounding off the program, Nathaniel Rothrock '12.5, bass/baritone, accompanied by Associate Professor of Music Jeffrey Buettner, will perform songs for voice and piano by Franz Schubert, Lerner and Loewe, and Stephen Sondheim.

A reception will follow immediately in the Mahaney Center lobby. For more information or to reserve free tickets to the concert, call the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or visit the box office website; or visit one of the Middlebury Box Office locations in person at the McCullough Student Center or the Mahaney Center for the Arts.