Washington State Magazine

Summer 2002

Summer 2002

In This Issue...


The pull of rowing :: Because rowing is more timing and rhythm than just strength, top athletes sometimes become frustrated. They must learn to be patient and accountable to their teammates. by Pat Caraher

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Photographs of WSU crew by Robert Hubner }

Is nothing sacred? :: Never heard of C4 photosynthesis? Now you have. It's rare, it's cool, it could help feed the world. And WSU plant scientists just rewrote the textbook on it. by Mary Aegerter

Pants that fit...In search of a cure for misfits :: "The more I sewed," says Carol Salusso, "the more I got frustrated with the fact that the patterns didn't fit me." So she began designing her own. by Andrea Vogt

A Titan's Tale :: Bill Nollan didn't like not understanding. So he drove his athletes and his students ever harder. As if their lives depended on it. by Bill Morelock

Field Notes

Ukraine: Witnesses to an Uncertain Revolution :: How do you offer a reasonable criticism of America's consumer culture to an audience waiting desperately for basic goods that we take for granted? by Paul Hirt

Ukraine: Mining Every Opportunity for Hope :: There are many toasts, to friendship and Ukraine and its women, who maintain what is left of its social fabric. story & photos by Tim Steury



Tracking the Cougars

Cover: Washington State University varsity crew members Dorothea Hunter, Emily Raines, and Jaime Orth bend their backs to the oars on the Snake River. Read the story here. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Paolo Fazioli, craftsman of the Concert Grand Fazioli piano. Robert Hubner


Paolo Fazioli, craftsman of the Concert Grand Fazioli piano. Robert Hubner

An instrument most rare

by | © Washington State University

As soon as he touched the keys of the Fazioli, Gerald Berthiaume knew he was playing a magnificent piano. He found its construction and luxurious sound far superior to the better known Steinway.

Berthiaume discovered the instrument while shopping for Washington State University at Baldassin Performance Pianos in Salt Lake City, the only licensed dealer in the West where a Fazioli can be purchased.

“This was an incredible piano,” said the program coordinator for WSU’s School of Music and Theatre Arts.

Paolo Fazioli, the piano’s craftsman and an accomplished pianist in his own right, was among the guests when the 10-foot, 2-inch Concert Grand Fazioli made its debut at a gala faculty recital in WSU’s Kimbrough Concert Hall January 23.

Fazioli pianos are handcrafted from red spruce cut from Italy’s Val di Fiemme, the same forest where Stradivarius gathered wood for his violins. Fazioli chooses the wood himself, selecting the one perfect tree out of 200 that has a natural resonant quality.

Over a period of two years the timber is transformed in a laborious process, including a natural drying period that takes six to 12 months. The soundboard is electronically tested for perfect pitch as well as a tiny portion of strings normally untested by other manufacturers. The bridge is built with wood of varying hardness.

“All of these things together combine for an incredible sound and ringing quality,” Berthiaume says. “It is unlike any other piano I’ve ever played.”

Since the Fazioli Grand Piano made its debut on the European market in 1981, it has won praise from world-class musicians. Now Fazioli has his own shop in Italy, where fewer than 70 pianos are completed annually. Some competitors create more than 3,500 a year. About 65 percent of the buyers are individuals, while the rest are sold to institutions such as concert halls and recording studios.

WSU’s Fazioli grand piano with plain black finish is housed on the Kimbrough Concert Hall stage. It will be used by music students and faculty for rehearsals and recitals.

Categories: Performing arts | Tags: Music

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