In 2004 $90,000 was raised for the purchase of a superb Steinway Concert Grand. Byron Music Society and the Byron Community Centre co-ordinated a Piano Fund-raising Campaign. With the generosity of local supporters and the help of both committees, a Steinway Model D-274 Eb HP, built in 1986, was purchased. It is housed at the Byron Community Centre. It has been said that it would cost $250,000 to purchase a similar quality Steinway now, so we are grateful to the foresight of those involved.
The Byron community has had use of the Steinway for thirteen years now. In order to ensure that the quality of the Steinway is maintained it is essential to have regular services by a qualified Steinway technician. Our piano is now due for major maintenance, stage one of which will cost $10,000. The complete maintenance will cost around $30,000. Byron Music Society events have already raised $7,700. Please consider making a donation to this worthy cause, no matter how big or small.
Many of the artists who have performed for the Byron Music Society have said how much they enjoy coming to Byron to play on a piano of such quality.
Gerard Willems AM | Associate Professor | Piano Unit | Sydney Conservatorium of Music:
“The quality of life in regional Australia is largely enhanced by a healthy, lively, artistic and cultural life. A fine quality concert piano such as a Steinway model ‘D’ is a sure way to attract top echelon performers to achieve this aim.”
“I am writing in support of the Byron Music Society’s application for a grant. The piano that exists in Byron is rare in quality, especially for a regional centre. That, and the incredibly strong place the arts has in the community, make for a unique experience for a performer. Byron, accordingly, is strategically placed at the apex of places where I have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy playing and I know other artists feel the same way. Your support is necessary to ensure that this remains unchanged, and that Byron continues to grow as an important cultural breeding ground outside the usual suspects of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”
Gillian and David Helfgott:
“I read your email with great concern re the Steinway D at the Byron Bay Music Society needing restoration. This beautiful instrument which is such a drawcard to bring fine musicians to the Community Centre, must be preserved and it is essential that the work be done on it. If left too long the repairs are much harder to do and it would be so sad if this fine instrument was not brought up to the highest standard again. I do trust you will get support for this essential work to be done.”
“As an international touring concert pianist, I travel from venue to venue never knowing what quality of instrument I may come across, and yet I find the beauty and standard of a piano can be something of a determining factor as to the success of a concert. Recently I was overjoyed to find a piano that instantly became a ‘close-friend’ on playing the wonderful Steinway at the Byron Bay Community Centre. This is an instrument of great value due to its extraordinary sound, character and the ease in which it almost ‘plays itself’. It is because of this delightful instrument that I would be keen to return to this part of the world to present another in the near future. I would like to see it given the care and love it so deserves. To have such a fine instrument is such a wonderful scoop for the region of Byron Bay, NSW.”
During the Steinway Benefit Concert local performer Margaret Curtis played a piece specifically to “put the Steinway through its paces”. She said it passed with flying colours.
Our young performers:
It is not only the internationally renowned pianists who appreciate the Steinway but also our up-and-coming artists who perform at the annual Youth Concert. They are fortunate to experience what it is like to play on an instrument of this calibre, early in their musical careers.