Marking a decade of excellence at UWF

Donor Helen Wentworth, third from left, visited Steinway & Sons in New York to help select pianos in 2006

James Matthews and Bolton Ellenberg


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Bolton Ellenberg was 12 when he played at the University of West Florida’s first All-Steinway Showcase, a formative performance that ultimately led to further studies at the All-Steinway Cleveland Institute of Music.

Ten years later, he returned to the stage in January to celebrate the generosity of Pensacola resident Helen Wentworth, who made UWF an All-Steinway School with 18 new Steinway & Sons pianos. “We are so fortunate to benefit from Mrs. Wentworth’s gift,” Ellenberg said before presenting “Totentanz” by Franz Liszt. “Musicians know that Steinways have this wonderful sound. Every piano is different, so a performer might be concerned when playing an instrument for the first time. However, if that piano is a Steinway that has been properly maintained and tuned, then the sound is absolutely reliable.”

Mrs. Wentworth’s late husband, Warren, was a Pensacola entrepreneur and a devout Steinway enthusiast. “This gift represents the love he had for Steinway pianos and his wish to have a named legacy within the Department of Music,” she said at the time of her donation.

Martha Lee Blodgett, Associate Vice President for the Division of Advancement, accompanied Mrs. Wentworth and others to the Steinway factory to select pianos and complete the All-Steinway initiative. “Think of the legacy,” Blodgett said. “Think of the students who get the opportunity to learn their craft on the best of the best instruments.”

By touching souls through the gift of Steinway pianos, Warren Wentworth’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of UWF students and teachers.


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