Donation of world-class Bechstein piano benefits U of S student music performance


Music students at the University of Saskatchewan now have the opportunity to play one of the world’s best pianos thanks to a generous donation from philanthropists Roger and Marie Jolly.

The C. Bechstein D280 concert grand piano was moved into Convocation Hall in the Peter MacKinnon Building and will serve as the primary performance piano in what Roger Jolly describes as “the best acoustic hall for piano and vocal performance in the province. I think our kids deserve to play one of the finest-built pianos in the world,” he said.

Jolly, a world-renowned piano technician and owner of the Yamaha Piano Centre locations in Saskatoon and Regina, tuned the instrument himself in preparation for a performance Sept. 30.

“The piano is so sensitive that it’ll do whatever a pianist wants it to do, including play the wrong notes quite well,” he joked.

The Bechstein piano is worth about $250,000 and will give the U of S a great deal of bragging rights, added Jolly.

“I think our students need to know, feel, experience and hear what the very best is so they know where to set their sights for performance levels,” he said. “The instrument will respond to them and they will respond to the instrument.”

Photos of Roger Jolly and the C. Bechstien D280 are available in the U of S Flickr gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCjpWeV

Photo, L to R: Dean Peter Stoicheff, Roger Jolly, Marie Jolly and President Ilene Busch-Vishniac.