Doctor donates rare 30-year-old Bösendorfer piano
Thanks to Dr. Richard Graves, clinical professor at the UC Davis School of Medicine, the music department at Sacramento State University is welcoming a new piece into its collection: a Bösendorfer Grand Piano, c. 1881.
Dr. Graves bought the piano, un-restored, from a retired couple in El Dorado Hills who wanted more room in their master-suite for a couch. (Originally the instrument was purchased at an auction in Folsom.) He let it meticulously restore from the ground up by master piano restorer Robert Portillo of Los Angeles. The restoration took 4 years.
Dr. Graves donation. - "Bösendorfer instruments have a cult following among keyboard instrumentalists and are beloved for their rich, singing tone and haunting sustain." (THE SACRAMENTO BEE)
A real music lover
“Live music changes you in a way that a CD or mp3 player doesn’t,” Graves said. “The pianists are interacting with the audience – it is just a much more intimate and powerful experience. - I donate to the piano series here at Sac State because I think it is very important to have a cultural venue where we bring in professional pianists for everyone to hear.”
Even though Graves is not a Sac State alumnus, just being a member of the community is reason enough for him to support the campus. -“He is a real music lover and has been an amazing supporter of the music department and the piano series all along,” Peters said. “Rick is just passionate about making sure out department has the best of the best.”
An 1880's Viennese sitting room
In celebration of the generous donation, piano professor Lorna Peters hosted a recital on Grave's honor on April 27. Wanting to re-create a scene from the origin of the piano’s creation, Peters themed the stage to look like an 1880’s sitting room in Vienna. With candles and plants, the room catered to the time period of the Bösendorfer piano.
The concert program offered works by Mozart, Brahms and Schumann performed on the Bösendorfer. It included performances by three Sac State students and a presentation by Portillo himself.
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(Photocredit: Dr.Graves; CSUS)