The piano movers returned to 181 Mercer a few weeks later to unpack and set up the instruments. It took one mover only five minutes to unwrap the piano and screw on two of its three legs and lyre box, which houses the pedal mechanism. Crouching near where the third leg would go, he shimmied the instrument to the edge of its moving board and lifted it onto its two feet. After ratcheting the third leg in place, he folded the blankets and moved on to the next.
Days later, technicians removed the stabilizers and interior packing that secured each piano’s 12,000 individual parts. In a final step, Steinway will send piano technicians to regulate each instrument's action and perfect its sound.
Within days of the building’s January 23 opening, NYU Steinhardt musicians were reaping the benefits of the new instruments. Snippets of West Side Story escaped from the Ensemble Rehearsal Room, where students practiced conducting as a pianist played the concert grand. In Room 642, Savannah Bergli, a first-year Piano Performance master's student who is also pursuing a teaching certificate, was practicing a Beethoven sonata.
“I felt so at ease because I knew that playing on these beautiful instruments will have me better prepared for concerts and performances,” the 24-year-old from Oslo, Norway, said later. “I felt a huge difference in my playing on an instrument of such high quality. A good instrument is more than a necessity. I think the new Steinway pianos will benefit all students in a way that we can now be better equipped for our professional endeavors.”
Ukrainian born Piano Studies alumna Milena Zhivotovskaya received a rave review for her work, "Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano" and more.
She has performed at the Brancaleoni International Music Festival, Gijón International Piano Festival, Kennedy Center, Interlochen Arts Academy, and throughout China.
Francesca Khalifa has launched EXTENSITY, presenting innovative programming by emerging and established artists working across a range of disciplines.