MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Kaufman Auditorium’s Steinway grand piano was sent to Lindeblad Piano Restoration in Pine Brook, New Jersey in October of last year.
The piano was delivered back to Kaufman Auditorium Friday, June 6. Lantz Whitfield, director of Kaufman Auditorium, says the project took longer than expected because of COVID-19.
“We had hoped to have it back last month but even they were working at a reduced capacity because of the coronavirus and so we’re thrilled to have it back now.”
For the first time since it was built in 1925, the piano has been fully restored. It’s had repairs in the past, but according to Whitfield, it should now play like a brand new piano.
“It’s had partial restorations, it’s had the soundboard repaired, it was in fairly rough shape when it finally went out,” said Whitfield. “So it’s an expensive restoration, somewhere in the low 50,000 dollars but to buy this piano new is well over 150,000 dollars. So we’re thrilled to have it back it’s absolutely gorgeous and it looks pristine.”
Originally, the Kaufman Auditorium planned to host a concert to welcome back the piano to it’s stage. That concert will still take place but the date is yet to be determined. Whitfield says that they have no plans to do something virtual yet but it could be a possibility.
“We had a Kaufman Lyceum lined up with an incredible pianist named Alpin Hong,” said Whitfield. “Alpin has been very what would you say very able to adjust with us and whenever we are able to open and probably when social spacing goes away he’ll come back and we’ll continue with that plan.”
Before final payment is made for the restoration, a local piano tuner will check over the piano to ensure its quality.
This video was taken just before the piano was sent off for renovations.