Brand new Steinway piano at Live at LICA's concert programme

PUBLISHED: 12:48 05 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:18 20 February 2013

Nikolai Demidenko who will be performing the inaugural concert on the Steinway this autumn

Nikolai Demidenko who will be performing the inaugural concert on the Steinway this autumn

Live at LICA's concert programme

When Lancaster University announced it needed to replace the piano used for its prestigious international concerts there was an outpouring of generosity. Within a year 100,000 had been raised and now the new Steinway piano is the focal point of Live at LICAs concert programme this autumn/winter.

International artists had started to refuse to play on the universitys old Steinway and one performer stormed off at the end of his performance.

Thats when the university decided enough was enough. A fundraising campaign was launched and the money rolled in: a tenth from The Friends of the Concerts, 30,000 from selling old pianos around the campus, individual donations and match funding from the university.

Due to the enthusiasm and generosity of our supporters, we now have one of the best Steinways in the country, said Fiona Sinclair, associate director of Live at LICA. When it was time to buy the new piano, the decision was left to campaign patron and Pendle-born pianist Kathryn Stott, who chose the instrument at Steinway Hall in London.

Fiona said: Kathryn has selected a number of Steinways for venues before and had a portfolio of repertoire which she explained was devised to test every possible nuance, colour and texture from the instrument. At the third instrument, Kathy smiled knowingly after the first few notes. She confessed it had been love at first sight.

The Steinway was being inaugurated by the Russian virtuoso pianist, Nikolai Demidenko, on Thursday October 25th. Now more money is needed for the upkeep of the piano to ensure it remains in world-class condition.

Live at LICA has come up with the novel idea of letting audiences sponsor parts of the Steinway; there is the chance to buy one of the 88 individual keys (100 each), the lid (2,000), pedals (1,500) and middle octave (5,000). The three legs of the piano have already been bought by a lady who dedicated them to her late husband, a keen walker.

Whats on this month

November 8: Pianists Peter Donohue and Martin Roscoe peform Strauss, Mahler, Mozart and Stravinskys Firebird.

November 15: Saxophonist Andy Scott brings Sax Assault to the Live at LICA building with nine saxophones performing a range of music.

November 17: Cellist Raphael Wallfisch plays Dvoraks Cello Concerto at the Haffner Orchestras event in the Great Hall

November 22: The Fitkin Band is one of the most enjoyable modern ensembles in the UK with a gypsy and medieval theme at its core.

November 29: The Orchestra of Opera North perform Mozart, Beethoven and Dvorak.
For tickets and full line-up of events, go to

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