Concert to to benefit restoration of Kaufman Auditorium’s grand piano


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – There are 2 slightly different accounts about how Kaufman Auditorium received it’s Steinway Concert Grand.

The first is that in the late 1920s L.G. Kaufman had George Gershwin pick out 2 Steinway Concert Grands to be housed at his summer home at Granot Loma, and that at some point one of them was moved to Kaufman Auditorium.  The other grand fell into disrepair and its whereabouts are no longer known.  The other account is that it was picked out by George Gershwin for Kaufman Auditorium where it has been housed ever since.

The piano itself is a 1927 Steinway Model D Concert Grand Piano purchased from Steinway and Sons, New York.  It had a partial restoration in the early 1980s but is now in need of a complete restoration.  The restoration is being done by Lindeblad Piano Restoration located in Jew Jersey.  The restoration will cost $48,000 which will include all action, belly, new soundboard, and finish. To purchase a new Steinway Grand is over $140,000. 

The Kaufman Auditorium in not looking at that because of cost and the fact that this piano has history with the Kaufman Family, and Kaufman Auditorium.  It will be picked up shortly after Thanksgiving and they will receive a temporary “loaner” Grand Piano while the Steinway is gone.  

At this time the Kaufman Foundation, Marquette Area Public Schools and the Kaufman Auditorium Capital Improvement fund have made contributions toward the renovation.

In an effort to raise funds for the restoration, on Saturday, November 23, at 7:30, musicians and dancers of the Marquette community will perform as part of a Kaufman Piano Restoration Concert.

Nancy Railey and Lantz Whitfield spoke with Local 3’s Rebecca Bartelme about the concert.

It will feature music by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Shostakovich, Gershwin and Liszt will be performed by local pianists: Nancy Railey, Jan Brodersen, Nancy Zimmerman, Bob Buchkoe, and Lynne Lanczy.  Also, local violinist Connie Weiner, will perform along with Dancers in the Shostakovich Preludes: Erika Waite, Ella Bartlett Filipowicz, Kerry Yost, Ella Theys, Sylvie Theys, Sylvia Kilpela, Nina Jungwirth, Hazel Nyberg and
Nora Laxo as well as children dancers of the Queen City Artist Cooperative.

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