LSM Newswire

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Louis Lortie Plays Steingraeber & Sohne Grand Piano in Toronto Concerts

Canadian Pianist Louis Lortie Performs on the “Rolls Royce of Pianos”

Exquisite Steingraeber & Söhne Grand Piano Makes ‘Debut’ at:

Roy Thomson Hall - October 12 & 13

Koerner Hall – October 16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Toronto, October 3, 2011 : Toronto audiences will soon get a chance to experience the magnificent sound of one of the finest pianos in the world: the Steingraeber & Söhne Grand Piano. For the first time ever, the superb German-made instrument will resonate at Roy Thomson Hall and Koerner Hall as celebrated Canadian pianist Louis Lortie performs the music of Mozart and Liszt. On both occasions, the $205k nine-foot Steingraeber piano (model E-272) will be provided by Grand Piano House Inc. from Richmond Hill, Ontario – the exclusive Canadian distributor / representative for Steingraeber & Söhne.

“The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument .... a singing tone is made up of shadows and colors and contrast ...”

Vladimir Horowitz.

One of Germany's finest piano manufacturers, yet relatively unknown here in Canada, Steingraeber & Söhne is recognized for producing superior instruments. The designs of Steingraeber's grand pianos are based upon more than 150 years' experience. The E-272 / 8’11”, based on the 265 concert grand from 1895, was redesigned between 1997 and 2002. Since then, many pianists have rated it one of the most distinctive and outstanding instruments on the market - including Alfred Brendel, Stephen Hough, Pascal Rogé and Garrick Ohlsson, to only name a few. Unique features include the unusual shape of the sound-reflecting rim, the star-shaped and half-timbered cross beams. According to distinguished pianist Cyprien Katsaris, the new E-272 is a “masterpiece” and has an “incredibly agreeable touch.” The most unusual feature, however, is the shape of the soundboard in the treble. The resonating space has been reconstructed according to the classic ratio between string length and resonating space. Thus, Steingraeber strings have 27% less wood mass to penetrate than comparable instruments. Even with softer hammers, this results in a clear, singing tone.

French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has attracted critical acclaim throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, not least for extending his interpretative voice across a broad repertoire range rather than choosing to specialise in one particular style. The London Times, describing his playing as "ever immaculate, ever imaginative", has identified the artist's "combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have".

Louis Lortie Plays the Steingraeber Piano in Toronto:

On October 12 and 13, Louis Lortie performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. “One simply cannot find a better instrument these days for the interpretation of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart…An extraordinary instrument.”, commented the illustrious magazine Le Monde de la musique about the Steingraeber E-272 concert grand piano. Regarded as one of Mozart’s greatest works, this is the last of the twelve great piano concertos written in Vienna between 1784 and 1786. The programme also includes works by Bach and Beethoven.


Wednesday, October 12 (8pm) and Thursday, October 13 (2pm)

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503

Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis, TSO Conductor Laureate

Roy Thomson Hall: 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto

For tickets, visit

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birth, Louie Lortie returns to Koerner Hall on October 16 to perform the complete Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), a virtuosic, highly varied, genuinely moving masterwork that musically details Liszt’s travels through Switzerland, Italy, and finally back home to Hungary. Mr. Lortie performed the work last summer at the Steingraeber Haus in Bayreuth, Germany. Bayreuth is home to the annual Wagner Festival and the Festspielhaus, which Steingraeber has been a part of each year. Composers Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt are amongst the legendary musicians for whom Steingraeber & Söhne has designed pianos. In fact, the legendary model 205 was manufactured in 1873 for Franz Liszt.

Sunday, October 16 (2PM)

Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage)

Koerner Hall/Telus Centre for Performance and Learning

The Royal Conservatory: 273 Bloor St. West

For tickets, visit:

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