The first concert with the new grand piano in Stamsund Church was held on the 21st. December 2012. Suitable, this was also the birthday of fundraising general Robert Solberg. He put in a lot of work to ensure that Stamsund Church – the church with perhaps the very best acoustics in Lofoten – also got its grand piano.
Where several other fundraising campaigns had received help from several banks and private institutions, the fundraising campaign in Stamsund became a longer canvas to bleach. It was mainly private individuals who came with their many, but smaller contributions.
Robert Solberg collaborated with the fine artist Scott Thoe. He made a print in a number of 88, the same number as the keys of a grand piano. The print mimicked the famous pianist Arthur Rubinstein, and was sold for income for the grand piano. This was of considerable help.
Thron Irby in Steinway Norwaynaturally followed well from the sidelines, also in this case. He eventually realized that the fundraising could take so long that he may not be the leader of Steinway Norway when the collection was completed. But he still had a plan.
From world-famous studio to Stamsund
In the famous record studio Rainbow Studioin Oslo a 7 year old Steinway & Sons model D was placed. He thought he could persuade the management there to buy a new one, so that he could sell the old one on to Stamsund for a much cheaper price. And so it was.
While a new Steinway & Sons model D then costs approx. 1.500.000,-, Stamsund received an offer for an almost new instrument for half the price. Christian Ihle Hadland was used as a consultant, and he thought it was not necessary to try the instrument. He commented briefly: “this grand piano is tuned and taken care of weekly, so it must be one of Norway’s best!”.
It was back then Ketil Bjørnstad who picked out this grand piano for Rainbow Studios at the Steinway & Sons factory in Hamburg. He describes this event vividly in his book “The World That Was Mine – The Last Decade”. As a speaker during the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival2016, Bjørnstad had no idea that the piano in Stamsund came from Rainbow Studios. He, on the other hand, recognized both the sound and the mechanics of the grand piano. He has previously recorded several of his records on this particular instrument. In an e-mail to general manager Knut Kirkesæther, he writes: “In my opinion, the instrument has become much better in these 16 years! An absolutely brilliant instrument!”
Recordings on the grand piano in Stamsund Church:
- Jan Gunnar Hoff and Marianne Beate Kielland: “Terra Nove” (2015)
- Joachim Carr: Hymnis and Fabilus (2020)
Recordings on the grand piano before coming to Stamsund Church (Rainbow Studio):
- Kjetil Bjørnstad: “The Way Through the Woods” (2004)
- Others: Jon Balke, Lars Jansson, Steve Kuhn, Christian Wallumred, Carsten Dahl, Jørn Øien, Helge Lien, Bugge Wesseltoft, Helge Iberg, Tord Gustavsen, Jan Gunnar Hoff, Erlend Skumsvoll, Julie Hülsmann, Steve Dobrogosz, Svein Olav Herstad, Olga Konkova