Not just the star of the Keyboard Section Final, our beautiful Steinway Model D provides accompaniment during virtually all other rounds of the Annual Music Competition. Given its workload, it needs careful care to ensure it plays and sounds as good as it possibly can.
First purchased in 2008, it replaced our other smaller Steinway Model B purchased in 1984. With the Princess Alexandra Hall having recently been refurbished, the new larger model was sought to make the most of the much-improved acoustics.
Chosen by then-Director of Arts Roderick Lakin, AMC alumni Simon Lepper, Vanessa Latarche and Frank Wibaut at Steinway Hall (above), from a range of other Model Ds, the example chosen has long been claimed to be one of the best performance pianos in London. Called 'the pinnacle of concert grands' by Steinway, the nearly 9ft long instrument is used by most of the world's top concert halls.
ROSL Vice Patron HRH Princess Alexandra unveils the new piano in 2008
To keep it looking and most importantly sounding at its best, the Arts team make sure it gets the treatment it needs from Steinway, including two services per year and a retuning before most performances.
A Technician's Report from one service contained an exhaustive list of works; from checking lyre and pedalwork, to cleaning felt and baizes, and adjusting blow distance.
By carrying out this work, the piano is kept in perfect working order and won't fall victim to damage. Given this maintenance and the regularity with which it is played, we expect it to continue to be at the heart of the AMC for another decade or more.
Take a look at it in action during this year's Keyboard Section Final, with winner Dominic Doutney putting the Model D through its paces.