KDB Group Invests in Two Steinway Grands for Peoria Performance Venues
ASTORIA, NY (November 18, 2019) – STEINWAY & SONS is proud to be participating in Peoria’s ongoing cultural renaissance with the KDB Group, a central Illinois developer acquiring new STEINWAY pianos to grace landmark performance venues.
Following a tour of the STEINWAY factory in October, KDB representatives selected a nine-foot Model D concert grand for the Scottish Rite Theatre in Peoria and a seven-foot Model B Onyx Duet Spirio for the Betty Jane Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts in Peoria Heights.
Chairman Kim D. Blickenstaff, a California-based healthcare entrepreneur who grew up in central Illinois, is committed to making real estate investments throughout the region.
“Kim D. Blickenstaff knows that for his performance venues, only the best in the industry will do,” says Jenny Parkhurst, KDB executive director for the performing arts who assisted in the selection with George Stelluto, music director and conductor with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. “We hope to entice world-class performers to experience our STEINWAYs and educate the community about different musical genres with these beautiful new instruments because Peoria deserves nothing but the best,” she says.
Parkhurst marveled as second and third-generation workers handcrafted STEINWAY pianos in the heart of Astoria. “What an honor to see these men form the rim of a piano, knowing that the same care, precision and craftsmanship went into the pianos we were going to select. When our STEINWAYs are delivered and sit in all their glory in the places where they belong, I will have a greater appreciation of every curve and key because I experienced first-hand how they were created,” she says.
Constructed in 1925, the Scottish Rite Theatre seats about 900 patrons and provides a cornerstone for the performing arts in downtown Peoria. Housed in a former library, the Brimmer Center in Peoria Heights is named after Blickenstaff’s mother, a renowned performer in the waning days of Peoria’s Vaudeville era.
For recommendations, Parkhurst reached out to Susan Lutz, director of institutional sales at STEINWAY PIANO GALLERY in St. Louis. Lutz – who also has deep family roots in Peoria –suggested an ebony Model D for the theatre, which boasts 25-foot-stained glass windows and is undergoing extensive renovations. “KDB is restoring every inch of this grand old building to its former grandeur,” she notes.
To complement the exquisite wooden interior of the Brimmer Center, a French Rosewood Model B was a perfect choice. “This flexible space for concerts, dinner theater, film presentations, lectures and other community events makes an intriguing showplace for the technology of Spirio,” Lutz adds.
“We are so honored that Kim Blickenstaff chose STEINWAY & SONS. He is giving back to central Illinois in a profound way for the arts, and choosing to purchase new Steinways for his venues because he knows what great artists want to perform on,” she says.
Parkhurst notes the arts have always played a prominent role in Peoria’s rich past. “Music is part of the fabric of our community and always will be. I am so excited that we can now offer STEINWAY pianos in these historic and majestic buildings.”
About Steinway & Sons
Since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value. Because of a dedication to continuous improvement, today’s Steinway remains the choice of nine out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world. For more information, visit www.steinway.com.
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