THE SCOOP Donor Gives U of T’s Faculty of Music A ‘Creme de la crème’ Steinway

Steinway Model D (Photo: courtesy of Steinway & Sons)
Steinway Model D (Photo: courtesy of Steinway & Sons)

Announced quietly in an internal U of T news report, there is a touching story we couldn’t help feeling good about today.

A Toronto couple (Lilian Wei-Chee Goh and Swee Chua Gohmarried 47 years strong) attended a concert at the University of Toronto’s MacMillan Theater three years ago.

Little did they know how important this concert would be.

The performance was by pianist Michelle Lin performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Uri Mayer. Lilian was so impressed by the concert that she kept the program in a drawer as a keepsake.

In a devastating turn, Lilian ended up passing away. Mourning her loss, Swee wanted to somehow commemorate his wife’s memory and love of music. The two meet as students at U of T, and so he called the Faculty of Music to talk about making a financial donation in Lilian’s name.

After the initial call, he later noticed a concert program from Michelle Lin’s performance sitting at the top of a pile on programs in a drawer. In a flash of serendipity, it hit him. The perfect way to honor his wife was to donate a piano in her name.

He phoned the school back to discuss the idea, and the school was delighted. After further talks, Swee decided on Steinway Model D, one of the most prized pianos money can buy.

“When I first heard the Faculty of Music needed a new piano, there was some discussion around the [model of] piano itself, ”Swee said. “The consensus was the Hamburg Steinway, the cream of the concert grands.”

We could not think of a better way to carry the memory of a loved one through the donation of a prized musical instrument.

This new donation also gives U of T’s Faculty of Music three Steinway concert grands. Two of them currently reside at U of T’s Walter Hall. One donated by a U of T professor emeritus in the 1990s is called the “McConica Steinway” after his mother. The other is unnamed, and like a racehorse, due to be retired soon.

Model D fast facts:

  • The Model D is the flagship concert grand for the famed Steinway & Sons piano company
  • Its quality is arguably unmatched. Measuring 8’11 ¾ ”in length and 1,000 lbs, these models have become the symbol of luxury and precision craftsmanship
  • It receives extra prep and care during the lengthy manufacturing stage for its use on stage
  • Steinway piano bank: Most of the best concert grands sold in Canada and the US are Model B or D Grands.
  • They are typically used on the stage for 4-5 years before being sold to clients
  • The cost of a Model D ranges from $ 188,000 to $ 206,000 CAD


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Michael Vincent
Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all)
Michael Vincent
Latest posts by Michael Vincent (see all)

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