Yamaha Grand Piano Is Selected for Lincoln Center's Intimate Walter Reade Theater

2/26/2010 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Yamaha CFIIIS Now Ensconced in Esteemed NYC Chamber Music Venue

Walter Reade Theatre Placement
Fauré Piano Quartet, Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Cente
Photo Credit: Isaac Humphrie for Lincoln Center
NEW YORK CITY —Yamaha has secured an official exclusive placement of a Yamaha CFIIIS grand piano at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater in New York City. Lincoln Center, the world's leading performing arts center, is comprised of 12 resident organizations, including The Film Society of Lincoln Center, America's pre-eminent film presentation organization. The Film Society runs a state-of-the-art year-round cinema at the Walter Reade Theater, including a Silent Film series that often utilizes live piano accompaniment. The Walter Reade Theater's 2009-2010 season also offers several chamber music performances and a popular Sunday morning concert series with up-and-coming artists. A Yamaha CFIIIS grand piano was placed on the stage of the Walter Reade Theater in early January.

When Glenn Raucher, theater manager of the Walter Reade Theater, first spoke to James Steeber, director of Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. (YASI), he says, "From the very start, it was apparent that it would be great to work with Yamaha Artist Services. When I asked questions, I got answers. And most importantly, James didn't say ‘yes' to things that weren't realistic. He was really interested in finding a solution that would work for who we are, not a generic solution. He was very flexible and informed."

As Raucher and his staff internally discussed their piano needs for the 268-seat theater, he encountered questions from pianists who had been comfortable playing the previous piano. "Again, James was very accommodating and invited several of the pianists appearing on our Great Performers schedule to come over to YASI and play the CFIIIS. And their first reviews are ecstatic."

"This placement of a Yamaha CFIIIS grand piano at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater becomes a happy new collaboration for us and finally gives artists playing at the Walter Reade the first-class piano they have been needing for years, " says Yamaha Artist Services Director James Steeber. "Yamaha Artist Services could not pass up an opportunity to work with Glenn Raucher and Lincoln Center in such an intelligent and understanding relationship in which so many will benefit and also allow us some precious exposure with great artists."

The Walter Reade Theater season runs year-round, and performances on the Yamaha CFIIIS will be highlighted in two concert series that run from September through June, Great Performers and What Makes It Great (WMIG). Pianists Natasha Paremski and Yamaha artist Anne-Marie McDermott performed earlier in the Great Performers series this season; Shai Wosner will play the Yamaha CFIIIS on April 12. The popular What Makes It Great (WMIG), hosted by pianist and commentator Rob Kapilow, made its debut on NPR's Performance Today 15 years ago, and is now entering its 13th season at Lincoln Center, where it consistently sells out as a regular subscription series.

Lincoln Center's Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts series brings rising artists to the Walter Reade Theater for engaging one-hour chamber music programs that are followed by a reception where audience members may converse with the performers. The Fauré Piano Quartet, the first piano quartet in 30 years to be named quartet in residence at the famed Karlsruhe Music Lyceum, made its New York debut in a late January Sunday Morning Coffee Concert. Founded in Germany in 1995, the quartet performed Mahler's Piano Quartet in A minor and Brahm's Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25.

Upcoming performers for the Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts include Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan and pianist Alexei Podkorytov in their New York recital debut; Israeli pianist David Greilsammer; British pianist Leon McCawley; and a duo for piano and voice hailing from Raucher's alma mater, Ithaca College.

"Our audience members are really enjoying the Yamaha piano," says Raucher, adding, with a small chuckle, "and anyone who comes here for a performance is not shy: they tell us what they think. We are very, very happy with the piano."

The Walter Reade Theater is located in the Rose Building at West 65th Street near The Juilliard School.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; or e-mail infostation@yamaha.com.

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