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World-class piano to be unveiled during concert at Drake University

November 15, 2012

Nicholas Roth, associate professor of piano, will give a solo concert to celebrate the arrival of the Yamaha CFX piano at Drake. The performance will take place on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Sheslow Auditorium in Old Main. The event is free and open to the public.

The Yamaha CFX is hailed worldwide as one of the finest concert instruments in existence today. Introduced in the U.S. in 2010, the grand piano is the culmination of nearly 20 years of research and development conducted by Yamaha to create this top-of-the-line handcrafted instrument. Experts and musicians consider it to be one of the top concert pianos in the world, and only a handful of schools and concert halls own the CFX.

“To put it simply, it’s one of the finest instruments I have ever played in my life,” Roth said.

Valued at up to $200,000, the piano is currently on loan to Drake from West Music Company. It will be used for faculty recital performances on the Jordan Stage in Sheslow Auditorium. Drake hopes to eventually own the piano outright, with help from generous donors. Roth’s performance will also serve to promote the Keys To Excellence initiative, which is part of the distinctlyDrake fundraising effort. The goal of Keys to Excellence is to raise $870,000 toward replacing 68 pianos in the Fine Arts Center. So far, $95,000 has been donated.

Roth’s performance will include works by Beethoven, Gottschalk, Griffes, Liszt, and Villa-Lobos. In 2010 Yamaha Corporation of America selected Roth for its Artist in Education program, which recognizes excellence in performing and teaching and provides opportunities for concerts, recordings, and master classes around the nation. Roth was a 1993 Beethoven Fellow of the American Pianists Association and has won first prizes in several international competitions. Roth holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University.