An eye-catching array of 28 Steinway pianos took centre stage at Edinburgh College of Art today (20 June 2019) in a spectacular one-off performance by students, staff and guest musicians.

The musical showcase marked the arrival of a fleet of new Steinway pianos, giving ECA’s Reid School of Music the prestigious All-Steinway School status.

Reid School of Music alumna Kirsteen Davidson Kelly took part in the performance. She was a founder member of Piano Circus.

The pianos were selected by music students and staff, who visited the Steinway & Sons factory in Hamburg earlier this year. 

The event opened with a performance from the renowned Piano Circus ensemble, and culminated with students and staff joining in a selection of works involving all 28 pianos.

The instruments have been transferred to their new home in Alison House, where music students will practise and perform on them for years to come.

Timelapse footage of the set up and performance
Edinburgh College of Art

The celebratory event opened with Piano Circus playing music by Steve Reich and Graham Fitkin, and concluded with Piano Circus leading Reid School of Music staff and students in scratch performances of music for all 28 pianos.

The purchase of the pianos was made possible by a generous bequest from former student, the late Thomas Laing-Reilly, to the Reid School of Music.

Founded in 1853, Steinway & Sons has a reputation for creating some of the best pianos in the world. Each instrument takes nearly a year to create, using carefully selected woods and skills from master craftsmen that have been handed down through generations.

Dr Elaine Kelly, Head of the Reid School of Music, said: “We are enormously grateful to Thomas Laing-Reilly for his generous donation and it is fantastic to mark the arrival of this new generation of pianos with such a flourish.

“Steinway & Sons is a mark of true excellence and I am delighted that our students will have access to these high quality pianos throughout their studies.”


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